TOKYO , Dec. 26 -- ( Kyodo ) _ The U.S. dollar climbed to the upper 104 yen range in Thursday morning trading in Tokyo , briefly hitting a new five-year high, as traders moved to a "risk-on" mode. At noon, the dollar fetched 104.75-76 yen compared with 104.40-42 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Wednesday . Financial markets in New York were closed Wednesday for Christmas Day . The euro was quoted at $1.3678-3682 and 143.28-31 yen against $1.3674-3677 and 142.77-81 yen in Tokyo late Wednesday afternoon. The dollar and euro both leapt against the yen to highs last seen in October 2008 . Optimism about the U.S. economy continued to underpin the dollar, with market participants still reacting to the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision last week to start tapering its monetary stimulus. The euro was also bought on increases in euro bond yields. Japanese importers squaring their books ahead of the year-end came as an additional boost for the dollar, said Yuzo Sakai , manager of foreign exchange business promotion at Tokyo Forex & Ueda Harlow . The dollar and euro halted their rise against the yen before noon as traders locked in gains, but traders "naturally took a breath after such a rapid climb," Sakai said. "The dollar and euro are still underpinned against the yen, and with the Dow industrial average expected to continue to rise in New York on Thursday, the U.S. currency could cross 105 yen ," he said. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine on Thursday had little effect on the currency market, Sakai said.
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