The dollar eased to around ¥105.50 in Tokyo trading Friday, after giving up gains on growing optimism toward the early development of a novel coronavirus vaccine.

At 5 p.m., the dollar stood at ¥105.46-55, down from ¥105.99-106.04 at the same time Thursday. The euro was at $1.1839-1839, down from $1.1852-1853, and at ¥124.92-93, down from ¥125.66-66.

After being sandwiched between real demand-backed buying and selling, the dollar moved up to levels above ¥105.70 in the wake of an announcement by Pfizer and BioNTech suggesting steady progress in clinical trials on a coronavirus vaccine the U.S. and German drugmakers are developing.

But the greenback slipped through ¥105.50 in the late afternoon, weighed down by a drop in U.S. long-term interest rates in off-hours trading and position-squaring activities before the weekend.

“The dollar-yen pair has remained top-heavy due to the unchanged U.S. zero-interest rate policy,” said an official at a foreign-exchange margin trading service.

A currency broker noted that active trading was held in check ahead of the release later Friday of the IHS Markit flash eurozone manufacturing purchasing managers index for August.

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