The dollar recovered to around ¥108.40 after falling below ¥108 in Tokyo trading Monday, with buybacks spurred by action from the Bank of Japan to help financial markets fend off impacts from the spread of the novel coronavirus.
At 5 p.m., the dollar stood at ¥108.45-45, down from ¥108.84-84 at the same time Friday. The euro was at $1.1063-1063, up from $1.0996-0996, and at ¥119.99-99, up from ¥119.67-68.
The ongoing outbreak as well as a dismal reading from China’s manufacturing index sent the dollar below ¥108 in the early morning. But the greenback started heading north after an upturn in the Nikkei stock average prompted by a rare statement by BOJ Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda, who vowed to “provide ample liquidity and ensure stability in financial markets through appropriate market operations and asset purchases.”
Dollar buying against the yen was also fueled by the central bank’s surprising injection of ¥500 billion via Japanese government bond purchases under resale agreements.
The dollar eased below ¥108.10 for a while on selling induced by media reports about North Korea’s firing of two projectiles, but attracted renewed buying in late afternoon trading.
Complaining about recent volatility in the dollar-yen rate, a currency broker said, “We can’t keep up with the speed.”
Kuroda’s statement, meanwhile, drew mixed responses from market players despite its novelty.
“It had little to do with the day’s trading,” said an official at a major securities firm. But an official at a foreign-exchange margin trading service firm said, “It helped prevent the yen’s (further) appreciation.”
“Anyhow, the one-sided strengthening is over for now,” a Japanese bank official said.
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