Business / Financial Markets | CURRENCY MARKET

Dollar hovers around ¥106.50 after jumps in Tokyo trading

JIJI

The dollar moved narrowly around ¥106.50 after topping ¥107 at some points in Tokyo trading Monday.

At 5 p.m., the dollar stood at ¥106.59-59, up from ¥105.84-84 at the same time Friday. The euro was at $1.1176-1176, down from $1.1179-1181, and at ¥119.12-13, up from ¥118.32-35.

The dollar slipped through ¥106 in the early morning on selling prompted by the U.S. Federal Reserve’s emergency interest rate cut by a full percentage point to near zero on Sunday.

But the greenback shot up to around ¥107.50 after the Bank of Japan said its Policy Board meeting would be held at noon Monday, two days ahead of schedule.

Expectations grew that the central bank would soon announce powerful easing to offset damage from the coronavirus outbreak on the Japanese economy, traders said.

But after the bank actually announced easing measures, for the first time in some 3½ years, the dollar briefly fell to around ¥106.50. Although the U.S. currency jumped back above ¥107, it lost ground in tandem with the Nikkei 225 average.

The quantitative easing steps, including boosting purchases of exchange-traded funds, commercial paper and other financial assets, were taken by market players as “insufficient,” a currency broker said.

Unless the coronavirus outbreak is brought under control, investors’ anxiety will not dissipate, another market source pointed out.

Players took to the sidelines to wait for the outcome of a teleconference by the top leaders of the Group of Seven major economies slated for later Monday, a Japanese bank official said.

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