TOKYO , Dec. 25 -- ( Kyodo ) _ The U.S. dollar held firm in the lower 104 yen zone in Tokyo trading on Wednesday, as a thin Christmas market dampened traders' response to buoyant stocks and upbeat U.S. data. At 5 p.m. , the dollar fetched 104.40-42 yen compared with 104.15-25 yen in New York and 104.18-19 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Tuesday . It moved between 104.25 yen and 104.49 yen during the day, changing hands most frequently at 104.35 yen . The euro was quoted at $1.3674-3677 and 142.77-81 yen against $1.3670-3680 and 142.56-66 yen in New York and $1.3687-3689 and 142.60-64 yen in Tokyo late Tuesday afternoon. The U.S. dollar traced a subtle climb against the yen through the day, but the five-year high of 104.64 yen it hit last Friday remained out of reach amid low market participation, with most markets worldwide closed for Christmas Day . The dollar had retained momentum from New York overnight, when it drew some support against the yen after the release of better-than-expected November figures for U.S. durable goods orders and new home sales, dealers said. The euro oscillated against the dollar and yen throughout the day as euro-long traders adjusted their positions ahead of the year's end. "Today's extremely low participation is making the euro more volatile, but there's no significant change in the bigger trend against either the yen or the dollar," said a senior dealer at a major Japanese bank. With no major events left in the year, and the Tokyo market set to close for the New Year's holiday period, the lull in trading seen Wednesday is likely to carry over into the new year, keeping the dollar from topping 105 yen even if stocks rise, the dealer said. "After the first week of 2014, we could see the dollar crossing 105 yen if the Dow keeps up its climb and the Nikkei finds a stable footing above the 16,000 mark at which it closed on Wednesday." Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda's comments about monetary easing in the afternoon were interpreted as a reiteration of existing policy and did not substantially move the market, the dealer said. A flurry of Japanese data due out Friday, including November's consumer prices and industrial and employment figures, are unlikely to have significant influence on currencies, with traders' eyes largely focused on U.S. developments, traders said.
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