TOKYO, Feb. 27 -- (Kyodo) _ The U.S. dollar hovered in the lower 102 yen zone in Tokyo Thursday morning, as upbeat U.S. economic data failed to make an impact in a market stuck fast on geopolitical risk posed by the upheaval in Ukraine.
At noon, the dollar fetched 102.34-42 yen compared with 102.30-40 yen in New York and 102.33-34 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
The euro was quoted at $1.3688-3689 and 140.15-16 yen against $1.3682-3692 and 140.05-15 yen in New York and $1.3741-3742 and 140.62-66 yen in Tokyo late Wednesday afternoon.
Stronger-than-expected U.S. new home sales in January briefly pushed the dollar up in New York overnight, but the news was drowned out by fresh fears over the stability of Ukraine following the ousting of pro-Russia president Viktor Yanukovych amid demand for a turn towards Europe.
U.S. new home sales in January came to an annual rate of 468,000, up from December's figure of 427,000 and breaking with a recent run of soft U.S. data, but the figure's impact was dulled, said Yuji Saito, director of foreign exchange at Credit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank in Tokyo.
"For now the risk-off mood on Ukraine has led to the buying up of U.S. Treasury bonds, keeping bond yields down and meaning the dollar won't rise against the yen even if data adding to positive dollar sentiment comes out," Saito said.
Overnight, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered military drills in areas of the country bordering Ukraine, sending the euro down against the dollar and yen and denting risk appetite worldwide.
"Before getting the support of the International Monetary Fund and European Union, Ukraine has to check items off a long list -- first elections, then a working central bank and a stable exchange rate," Saito said.
"Market participants are waiting on the setting of elections, and at least until then the situation in Ukraine will continue to significantly contribute to risk aversion."
The impact on the dollar-yen pair of U.S. Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen's testimony at a Senate panel on the central bank's semi-annual monetary policy report later Thursday is likely to be similarly muted, Saito said.
"It's unlikely Yellen will alter her statements to the Senate from what she has already said about this round of monetary policy before Congress."