LONDON: The dollar slipped against the yen in a quiet market on Wednesday, with appetite for risk muted as concerns about a possible US government shutdown offset optimism about progress on tax reform legislation.Analysts said it was unlikely there would be any big moves in the dollar before Friday’s closely watched non-farm payrolls report and perhaps not until next week’s US Federal Reserve policy meeting.Moves in Bitcoin dwarfed those in regular currencies again, with the cryptocurrency hitting a new record high of more than $12,800, up almost 10 percent on the day. It is on track for its strongest quarter since 2013 after almost tripling in price since the start of October.The dollar hit a five-day low of 111.99 yen, down half a percent on the day, with the Japanese currency displaying its standard relationship with the country’s stock market: When it falls, the yen gains.European stocks were lower too. “This is a typical risk-off move,” said BMO Capital Markets currency strategist Stephen Gallo, in London. “The yen crosses have been a drag all morning, and I think that’s fed through into euro/dollar, with a weaker euro/yen dragging down the euro against the dollar too.” The euro edged down 0.1 percent to $1.1815.The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was flat at 93.297. The United States’ Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted on Monday to go to conference with the Senate to begin formal negotiations on a tax reform bill, with the Senate expected to hold a similar conference vote later this week – a development seen as positive by markets.But in the meantime, the possibility of a US government shutdown looms, if lawmakers fail to reach a budget accord this week. Government funding is set to expire on Friday. “As we know, in general they (US Congress) find a solution, even if it’s a last-day solution,” said Commerzbank currency strategist Esther Reichelt. “But … in general, political turmoil is an underlying weight on the dollar and it’s one of the reasons the euro is above the $1.18 level at the moment.”Published in Daily Times, December 7th 2017.