17 October 2001, 09:09  Forex - Dollar little changed in midafternoon Tokyo ahead of Greenspan speech

TOKYO (AFX-ASIA) - The dollar was confined to narrow trading ranges in cautious midafternoon trading ahead of a speech later today by Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, dealers said. Hachijuni Bank foreign exchange dealer Naoya Kozu said Greenspan's speech is not likely to provide participants with fresh leads to drive the dollar out of the present trading range, with the market now focused on news related to the Sept 11 terrorist attacks and US retaliatory action in Afghanistan and possible bio-terrorism in the US and elsewhere. A local media report said a suspicious envelope containing unidentified white powder was found at the Osaka municipal government's building. Separately, US embassy press officer Alan Holst confirmed that the US consulate general in western Japan received a suspicious-looking letter with white powder. "The market did not show any strong reaction to the news report, but the plethora of news linked to the Afghan situation is making people reluctant to take positions aggressively," Kozu said. The Hachijuni Bank dealer said he expects the dollar to continue to move in the 119.50-123.50 yen trading range, adding that the downside will remain firmly supported due to fears of possible intervention by the Bank of Japan. The euro was also rangebound against the dollar, with investors awaiting the speech by Fed Chairman Greenspan, while concerns over the spread of the anthrax problem to Europe are weighing on the top-side, dealers said. "Given the uncertainty over the possible spread of terrorist attacks to Europe, the euro is not likely to register a sustained and fully-fledged rebound," Kozu said.

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