9 August 2001, 10:44  Forex - Yen eases in thin midafternoon Tokyo trading on stockmarket weakness

TOKYO (AFX-ASIA) - The yen eased in thin midafternoon Tokyo trading as the domestic stockmarket fell sharply, with the Nikkei 225 index now below the 12,000 point level, dealers said. However, they said the yen's losses were not particularly significant as turnover was light with many market participants away for their summer breaks. Comments in the morning by Deputy Finance Minister for International Affairs Haruhiko Kuroda - that the government would welcome a further easing by the Bank of Japan and this might weaken the yen - had little impact as they were seen as a reiteration of recent statements. "The Ministry of Finance keeps saying the same thing that a weaker yen would result from a BoJ easing. It's already included in the fundamentals," MCM analyst Hiromi Ookawara said, noting the lack of impact from the comments. "There's no news. Some US names bought the dollar on the weaker stocks but market participants are away (for the holidays) so the market is very thin," he said. "Basically, it's very quiet. All of the currencies are within ranges," he added, noting that there has been less talk recently about exporter sell orders capping the dollar at the 124 yen level.

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