Thanks Ned, this helps with the tracing of the coordinates but does not change the issue that x and y re-assigning is not sufficient to move the image after dragging.
I changed the function's code to:
trace ("touch BEGIN X: "+e.currentTarget.x + " Y: "+e.currentTarget.y);
and now the trace gives the correct values (x and y on the screen)
However, when dragging is over, a button is clicked and these actions (x and y re-assignment) are performed, there is no change in the image's position
x and y positioning works perfectly if the image has been moved on the screen by some other method that is not startTouchDrag / stopTouchDrag
apparently, before being able to change x and y of an image that has been dragged, some method of the same image must be called?