April 28, 2014 7:17 pm JST

Dollar hovers in lower 102 yen zone amid worries over Ukraine

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The U.S. dollar hovered in the lower 102 yen zone Monday in Tokyo with few players making bold moves amid increasing worries over political tensions in Ukraine.

     At 5 p.m., the dollar fetched 102.22-23 yen compared with 102.16-26 yen in New York and 102.27-29 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Friday. It moved between 102.04 yen and 102.27 yen during the day, changing hands most frequently at 102.10 yen.

     The euro was quoted at $1.3865-3866 and 141.73-77 yen against $1.3829-3839 and 141.35-45 yen in New York and $1.3833-3834 and 141.47-51 yen in Tokyo late Friday afternoon.

     The dollar moved in a tight range throughout subdued Tokyo trading as market participants took to the sidelines ahead of a Japanese national holiday on Tuesday, dealers said.

     "Today is the only day for which no major market moving event is scheduled this week," said Daisuke Karakama, chief market economist at Mizuho Bank, adding market players were reluctant to make big bets.

     The U.S. currency's top side was capped by concerns over the developments in Ukraine, said Yuzo Sakai, manager of foreign exchange business promotion at Tokyo Forex & Ueda Harlow.

     Possible additional sanctions on Russia by Group of Seven and European Union countries that could be implemented later in the day and Moscow's reaction are mainly occupying market participants' attention, Sakai said.

     The U.S. currency was underpinned, however, by constant demand from Japanese importers below the 102 yen line, he added.

     Within the week, central bank policy-setting meetings both in the United States and Japan as well as the release of U.S. jobs report for April are among the major economic events scheduled.

     U.S. gross domestic product data for the January-March quarter due on Wednesday will also be closely watched, said Mizuho Bank's Karakama.
Given that the reporting period is "broadly considered to have been affected by the record snow falling in the country," stronger-than-expected results could prompt players to test the dollar's high, he added.