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The dollar firmed close to ¥104.50 in generally lackluster Tokyo trading Thursday ahead of the European Central Bank’s policy-setting meeting.

At 5 p.m., the dollar stood at ¥104.47, up from ¥104.22 at the same time Wednesday. The euro was at $1.2090, down from $1.2127, and at ¥126.31, down from ¥126.40.

After moving in the ¥104.10 range, the dollar neared ¥104.50 in the late morning on buying by Japanese importers. The yen’s weakening against the Australian dollar also helped raise the greenback’s value vis-a-vis the Japanese currency, traders said.

But players increasingly retreated to the sidelines in the afternoon to wait for the ECB meeting, to be held later in the day.

“Participants were also keenly watching developments related to an envisaged U.S. coronavirus relief package and free trade talks between Britain and the European Union,” a currency broker said.

In late afternoon trading, the U.S. currency rose back to around ¥104.50 after strengthening against the British pound amid heightened concerns over slow progress in the post-Brexit trade talks.

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