By Hiroyuki Kachi
The dollar remained flat against the yen and the euro during rangebound Asian trade on Tuesday, with the greenback unable to find clear direction given a lack of fresh cues and fewer market players ahead of the Japan’s traditional summer holiday.
Around 0350 GMT, the U.S. dollar was at Y102.34, after rising to as high as Y102.53 earlier in the session. That compared with Y102.45 late Monday in New York.
The euro was lower at $1.1085 midday from $1.1088 late Monday.
The WSJ Dollar Index, a measure of the dollar against a basket of major currencies, was up 0.05% at 86.91.
The greenback gained strength overnight, with investors refocusing on the solid U.S. jobs data on Friday that has renewed hopes for the Federal Reserve’s rate increase within this year.
But the U.S. currency lacked clear direction Tuesday during the Asian session, with many Japanese exporters and institutional investors away from the market ahead of Japan’s holiday season in the middle of August.
“We’ve seen dollar buying again after [U.S.] jobs data, thus limiting the downside momentum,” said Yuzo Sakai, manager of FX business promotion at Tokyo Forex & Ueda Harlow.
The dollar briefly breached the Y102.50-line after China’s inflation data due to “dollar buying on acceptable figures,” said. Mr Sakai.
China’s consumer inflation grew 1.8% in July from a year earlier, losing speed for a third straight month. The key inflation reading matched a median 1.8% gain forecast by 17 economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal.
But the dollar buying didn’t persist. With Tokyo stocks lacking momentum to go upside and ahead of the holiday season in Japan, “I doubt we would see any big price move today,” said Mr. Sakai.
The Nikkei Stock Average was up a moderate 0.2% at midday.
Mr. Sakai said U.S. jobs data alone will unlikely change the underlying trend of a weaker dollar and a higher yen. “I can expect many twists and turns,” he said.
In other currency trade, the euro was at Y113.45 from Y113.57.
Interbank Foreign Exchange Rates At 23:50 EST / 0350 GMT
Latest Previous %Chg Daily Daily %Chg Dollar Rates Close High Low 12/31 USD/JPY Japan 102.34-35 102.44-45 -0.10 102.53 102.27 -14.93 EUR/USD Euro 1.1084-87 1.1087-90 -0.03 1.1092 1.1075 +2.07 GBP/USD U.K. 1.2997-99 1.3039-41 -0.32 1.3050 1.2977 -11.79 USD/CHF Switzerland 0.9826-30 0.9824-28 +0.02 0.9836 0.9822 -1.92 USD/CAD Canada 1.3180-85 1.3155-60 +0.19 1.3188 1.3152 -4.74 AUD/USD Australia 0.7628-32 0.7648-52 -0.26 0.7665 0.7621 +4.71 NZD/USD New Zealand 0.7131-37 0.7135-41 -0.06 0.7159 0.7130 +4.41 Euro Rate EUR/JPY Japan 113.44-48 113.57-61 -0.11 113.62 113.37 -13.25