News Column

Dollar firm at mid-102 yen on hopes for easing geopolitical concerns

August 14, 2014

The U.S. dollar held firm in the mid-102 yen range on Friday morning in Tokyo as hopes for receding geopolitical tensions lessened the yen's appeal as a relative safe haven in times of uncertainty.

At noon, the dollar fetched 102.50-53 yen compared with 102.40-50 yen in New York and 102.46-48 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Thursday.

The euro was quoted at $1.3361-3362 and 136.95-96 yen against $1.3360-3370 and 136.89-99 yen in New York and $1.3359-3361 and 136.88-92 yen in Tokyo late Thursday afternoon.

The dollar was virtually flat against the yen in Tokyo on Friday, helped by developments in Iraq and Ukraine, despite a fall in U.S. Treasury yields that dealers said was triggered by a worse-than-expected number of new claims to jobless benefits in the United States in the week ended Aug. 9.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who had been criticized over his handling of an insurgency by Sunni militants, said Thursday he is stepping down to make way for a successor, a step seen as moving toward a unity government in the troubled country.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday he would do everything in his power to bring an end to fighting in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian militants.

The euro was little changed against the dollar and the yen despite data showing that the eurozone economy stagnated in the April-June quarter after growing 0.2 percent in the preceding three months.

"Traders had already priced in weakness in the April-June period," said Yasuaki Amatatsu, market analyst at the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ. "Looking at the mid-term, I expect the eurozone to turn around from July onward."

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Source: Japan Economic Newswire

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