May 9, 2014 6:08 pm JST

Dollar stuck in upper 101 yen zone amid lack of trading incentives

TOKYO(Kyodo) -- The U.S. dollar stayed in a tight range in the upper 101 yen zone Friday in Tokyo in the absence of fresh market-moving incentives.

     At 5 p.m., the dollar fetched 101.70-71 yen compared with 101.62-72 yen in New York and 101.81-82 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Thursday. It moved between 101.55 yen and 101.75 yen during the day, changing hands most frequently at 101.67 yen.

     The euro was quoted at $1.3834-3836 and 140.70-74 yen against $1.3835-3845 and 140.64-74 yen in New York and $1.3924-3925 and 141.76-80 yen in Tokyo late Thursday afternoon.

     The dollar was stuck around 101.70 yen in the afternoon as dollar-yen trading has recently been put on the back burner, while the euro-dollar pair is drawing attention, said Daisuke Karakama, chief market economist at Mizuho Bank.

     In the morning, the dollar rose slightly against the yen on position-adjustment buying ahead of the weekend and stronger-than-usual demand from Japanese importers, said Yuzo Sakai, manager of foreign exchange business promotion at Tokyo Forex & Ueda Harlow.

     "The U.S. currency almost recouped its losses in overseas deals overnight following remarks by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi," Sakai said.

     The dollar briefly fell below the mid-101 yen level in New York in line with the euro's plunge against the U.S. and Japanese currencies after Draghi hinted at further stimulus measures as early as June after the ECB's policy meeting.

     Among economic data scheduled to be released next week, first quarter gross domestic product figures for Japan and the eurozone, both on Thursday, will be closely watched, Mizuho Bank's Karakama said.

     "If Japan's figure turns out worse than expected, it would likely rekindle expectations for further monetary easing by the Bank of Japan," spurring yen selling against the dollar, Karakama said.

     Market participants will also be looking to the eurozone GDP data for clues about the ECB's next move.