Dollar hits 5-year high at upper-103 yen on upbeat U.S. retail data
Japan Economic Newswire (Published: 13-Dec 2013 1:15 AM, Received: 1:14:03 AM)
Word Count: 348
TOKYO, Dec. 13 -- (Kyodo) _ The U.S. dollar reached a five-year high in the upper-103 yen zone Friday in Tokyo, boosted by strong U.S. retail data and a widened gap in U.S. and Japanese interest rates.
At 5 p.m., the dollar fetched 103.60-61 yen compared with 103.32-42 yen in New York and 102.81-82 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Thursday. It moved between 103.36 yen and 103.92 yen during the day, changing hands most frequently at 103.60 yen.
The euro was quoted at $1.3754-3755 and 142.50-54 yen against $1.3748-3758 and 142.11-21 yen in New York and $1.3800-3801 and 141.88-92 yen in Tokyo late Thursday afternoon.
The dollar cruised past its yearly high of 103.74 in morning trading before climbing to its highest level since October 2008 at 103.92 yen.
Market players bought the U.S. currency as data showed Thursday that U.S. retail sales in November grew 0.7 percent from the previous month, beating market expectations and pushing up U.S. long-term interest rates, dealers said.
It met resistance just short of the 104 yen line as profit-taking kicked in, dealers said.
"Some who bought the dollar cheap sold it for the yen out of a sense of accomplishment" at the U.S. currency having climbed so high, said Yuzo Sakai, manager of foreign exchange business promotion at Tokyo Forex & Ueda Harlow.
The data provided further proof of the U.S. economy's strength after last week's upbeat November jobs numbers, fueling expectations of an early tapering of the U.S. Federal Reserve's $85 billion monthly asset purchases.
Market participants are "starting to count in the possibility of a December start" to tapering in their dealings, said Toru Moritani, chief market economist at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp.
The euro also reached a five-year high in the 142.80 yen level as market players shed the Japanese currency for higher interest rates in Europe.
"If the Fed's policy meeting next week doesn't bring about a risk-off mood, the yen still stands to lose some ground" against major currencies, Tokyo Forex's Sakai said.
(c) 2013 Kyodo News International, Inc.
Original headline: Dollar hits 5-year high at upper-103 yen on upbeat U.S. retail data
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