22 October 2001, 09:50  Dollar gains slightly against yen in Tokyo morning deals

TOKYO, Oct. 22 (Kyodo) - The U.S. dollar gained slightly against the yen in Tokyo on Monday morning compared with its late levels in New York on Friday in cautious trading. At midday, the dollar traded at 121.43-45 yen, compared with the 5 p.m. quotes of 121.15-25 yen in New York and 121.17-20 yen in Tokyo on Friday. The U.S. currency moved between 121.20 yen and 121.49 yen during the morning. Dealers said some dollar-buying was seen among Japanese importers, but that the market was generally thin, with nothing to inspire trading. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum's two-day summit in Shanghai which ended Sunday with an agreement to counter terrorism, provided no sense of direction, dealers said. "The meeting had no surprises," said Nobuaki Kubo, manager of foreign exchange at Daiwa Bank. Dealers said the market is still worried about terrorism in the United States, particularly over the anthrax scare following the Sept. 11 attacks in New York and Washington. On the other hand, there is a sense of optimism in the market that the U.S. military operations in Afghanistan could end earlier than expected, dealers said. "There is speculation that U.S. commandos swiftly began their ground assault in Afghanistan and withdrew just as quickly. Speculation that military attacks will be short-lived will be beneficial for the dollar," Kubo said. A dealer at another Japanese commercial bank said some people are buying back the dollar on hopes for the U.S. economy. "Hopes have been raised by the fiscal and monetary policies that the U.S. has taken in succession," he said.

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