The dollar remained trapped in a tight range against the yen and the euro in quiet Asia trade Tuesday, with investors unwilling to take strong positions amid a lack of fresh trading incentives.
Around 0450 GMT, the greenback was at Y123.18, compared with Y123.16 late Monday in New York.
The greenback managed to stay above the Y123 mark as stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs figures Friday intensified the possibility that the Federal Reserve would raise short-term rates within this year.
A moderate falloff in the benchmark Nikkei Stock Index and some dollar buying by Japanese importers for regular commercial trade settlement prevented the dollar from falling below 123 to a yen. The Nikkei was down 0.2% midday.
But following weak U.S. stocks and a lack of trading cues, the U.S. currency remained lower than its overnight high of Y123.60, its strongest level since Aug. 20.
“We are seeing the (currency) market today that lacks vigor,” said Yuzo Sakai, manager of foreign-exchange business promotion at Tokyo Forex & Ueda Harlow.
“Trade is led by (position) adjustment, so that I can expect the dollar will lack clear direction against the yen today,” said Mr. Sakai, adding that investors may sit on sidelines until fresh cues later this week such as the U.S. retail sales for October on Friday.
The U.S. currency was slightly higher against the euro, as a media report about the European Central Bank’s easing steps kept a lid on gains in the single bloc’s currency.
A consensus is forming at the ECB to take the interest rate it charges banks to park money deeper into negative territory in December, Reuters reported, citing governing council members.
The common currency declined to $1.0743 midday from $1.0757 late Monday, after hitting a low of $1.0726 overnight. The common currency was at Y132.33 from Y132.48.
The WSJ Dollar Index, a measure of the dollar against a basket of major currencies, was up 0.03% at 90.41.
Interbank Foreign Exchange Rates At 00:50 EST / 0450 GMT Latest Previous %Chg Daily Daily %Chg Dollar Rates Close High Low 12/31 USD/JPY Japan 123.18-19 123.17-18 +0.01 123.25 123.03 +2.89 EUR/USD Euro 1.0742-45 1.0751-54 -0.08 1.0764 1.0743 -11.20 GBP/USD U.K. 1.5106-08 1.5114-16 -0.05 1.5126 1.5105 -3.03 USD/CHF Switzerland 1.0044-48 1.0032-36 +0.12 1.0052 1.0024 +1.04 USD/CAD Canada 1.3268-73 1.3285-90 -0.13 1.3289 1.3264 +14.19 AUD/USD Australia 0.7048-52 0.7044-48 +0.06 0.7057 0.7040 -13.72 NZD/USD New Zealand 0.6525-31 0.6529-35 -0.06 0.6543 0.6522 -16.25 Euro Rate EUR/JPY Japan 132.33-37 132.43-47 -0.08 132.51 132.32 -8.69 www.nasdaq.com