News Column

Dollar edges down in lower 102 yen on weak U.S. economic data

February 18, 2014

TOKYO, Feb. 19 -- (Kyodo) _ The U.S. dollar edged down in the lower 102 yen zone Wednesday morning in Tokyo affected by unfavorable U.S. housing and manufacturing data released overnight.

At noon, the dollar fetched 102.24-26 yen compared with 102.31-41 yen in New York and 102.52-53 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The euro was quoted at $1.3764-3764 and 140.72-75 yen against $1.3754-3764 and 140.80-90 yen in New York and $1.3715-3716 and 140.61-65 yen in Tokyo late Tuesday afternoon.

The dollar moved in a narrow range above the 102 yen line in thin trading due to a lack of major market incentives in Tokyo, dealers said.

"Soft U.S. economic figures announced the previous day created a somewhat risk-averse mood in the market," prompting buying of the yen, deemed a relatively safe asset, said Yuji Kameoka, chief foreign exchange strategist at Daiwa Securities Co.

The U.S. National Association of Home Builders said Tuesday its housing market index dropped 10 points to 46 in February, while the New York Federal Reserve Bank said its Empire State general business conditions index plunged to 4.48 from 12.51 last month.

But the U.S. currency's further decline has been staved off by expectation of a gradual recovery in the U.S. economy as market participants appear to believe a series of weak economic data are weather-related, Kameoka added.

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Source: Japan Economic Newswire

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