TOKYO , Jan. 16 -- ( Kyodo ) _ The U.S. dollar advanced to the upper 104 yen zone Thursday in Tokyo on strong U.S. regional manufacturing data and Japanese core machinery orders. At 5 p.m. , the dollar fetched 104.74-75 yen compared with 104.51-61 yen in New York and 104.29-30 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Wednesday . It moved between 104.56 yen and 104.92 yen during the day, changing hands most frequently at 104.74 yen . The euro was quoted at $1.3608-3609 and 142.53-57 yen against $1.3601-3611 and 142.23-33 yen in New York and $1.3643-3645 and 142.29-33 yen in Tokyo late Wednesday afternoon. The U.S. currency hovered in the upper 104 yen range throughout Tokyo trading, approaching the 105 yen line at one point, propelled by dollar-supportive economic data in both Japan and the United States . The dollar, which stumbled on disappointing U.S. jobs data for December released on Friday, is "returning to the upward trend (seen late last year)," said Toru Moritani , chief market economist at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. "If that is confirmed, the currency will test higher ground," Moritani added. The Japanese government said in the morning that Japan's core private-sector machinery orders rose a seasonally adjusted 9.3 percent on month in November to their highest level in over five years. "The data led to a risk-on mood among market participants, encouraging them to sell the (safe-haven) Japanese currency," said Yuji Kameoka , chief foreign exchange strategist at Daiwa Securities Co. The dollar started building upward momentum in New York after an announcement by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York that the manufacturing index for the state jumped to a reading of 12.51 in January, the highest since May 2012 . "Concern over the slowdown in the world's largest economy receded" thanks to the far better-than-expected manufacturing number, Kameoka said. In the afternoon, the Bank of Japan said it had upgraded its assessments of five of the country's nine regional economies compared with three months earlier, but the market impact was limited.
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