31 October 2001, 08:53  Dollar at standstill against yen in Tokyo morning deals

TOKYO, Oct. 31 (Kyodo) - The U.S. dollar reached a standstill against the yen in Tokyo on Wednesday morning as players held their breath ahead of the release of crucial U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) data later in the day. At midday, the dollar traded at 121.92-95 yen compared with Tuesday's 5 p.m. quotes at 121.90-122.00 yen in New York and 121.80-82 yen in Tokyo. The U.S. currency moved between 121.85 yen and 122.22 yen during the morning. "There are zero factors to move the market during Tokyo trading time today as everybody is waiting for the U.S. GDP," said Hideyuki Tsukamoto, a foreign exchange manager at Fuji Bank. "The dollar will move within a narrow range around 122 yen throughout Tokyo time." With the September terrorist attacks in the United States and the subsequent air campaign in Afghanistan raising concerns over the course of the U.S. economy, the eyes of financial markets are locked on the U.S. July-September economic growth, due out Wednesday night Japan time. U.S. GDP, which has been indicating quarterly growth for more than 10 years, is widely anticipated to show a negative reading for the third quarter of this year. Tsukamoto said currency market players have started to factor in sub-zero growth of the world's largest economy since Friday's New York trading hours, sending the dollar lower against the yen and the euro. "The dollar may rise if the GDP is around minus 1%, which is a mean figure for market expectations, because some people expect an economic contraction of a much wider scale," he said.

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