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Dollar eases to lower end of 123 yen in morning.

TOKYO, June 21 Kyodo

The U.S. dollar eased to the lower end of 123 yen in Tokyo on Friday morning following record-high figures for the U.S. trade deficit and the U.S. current account deficit.

At midday, the dollar traded at 123.34-36 yen, compared with Thursday's 5 p.m. quotes of 123.45-55 yen in New York and 123.80-82 yen in Tokyo.

The U.S. currency moved between 123.25 yen and 124.00 yen during the morning.

The dollar was weighed down by the figures released Thursday, which showed the U.S. trade deficit in April hit a record high of $35.9 billion, while the U.S. current account deficit in the first quarter jumped to the highest-ever $112.5 billion.

The dollar's temporary rise in the early morning to 124.00 yen led to some rumors of a Bank of Japan (BOJ) intervention, dealers said.

''Apparently there was no such intervention. It was a result of strong buying by some players,'' Keizo Tanaka, foreign exchange manager at Asahi Bank, said.

Dealers said they were wary of a BOJ intervention since the dollar has lowered to the 123 yen territory, which is where the central bank last stepped in to buy the dollar.

A dealer at another Japanese commercial bank said it was difficult to move following comments by Vice Finance Minister for International Affairs Haruhiko Kuroda, who reportedly said that he welcomed a strong euro but saw no reason for the yen to rise.

Despite the caution, however, some dollar-selling appeared following comments by Finance Minister Masajuro Shiokawa, who said it was not possible for Japan alone to control foreign exchange movements, dealers said.

''Those comments had some effect in pushing down the dollar,'' Tanaka said. ''We know that Japan will be unable to conduct joint interventions with other countries,'' he said.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Jun 24, 2002
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