Dollar edges higher in Asia

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Tokyo -

The dollar edged up against the euro and the yen in Asian trade on Thursday, building on the 11-month high it reached against the European currency overnight as the market eyed US rate hikes.

In late morning Tokyo trade, the euro was quoted at $1.3248 and 137.70 yen, down from $1.3258 and 137.57 yen in New York late on Wednesday.

The dollar fetched 103.92 yen, up from 103.76 yen.

The greenback's climb came after the US Federal Reserve released minutes from its July 29-30 meeting showing policy makers increasingly at odds over how strong the labour market is and what that means for inflation - a key issue in planning rate hikes next year.

The intensifying debate signalled an increased, albeit still measured, level of hawkish sentiment in the Fed that could speed up any rate hike.

The dollar rose after the Fed minutes “pointed to more lively debate over US labour market improvement and what that might mean for the timing of the start of rate normalisation”, National Australia Bank said in a statement.

Traders are now awaiting Fed Chair Janet Yellen's address to the Kansas City Fed on Friday to get clues on how the US central bank chief is thinking, it added.

The dollar-yen rate is set to test the 104 yen level, driven by rallies in Japanese stocks as well as minutes from the Fed meeting, Minori Uchida, chief currency analyst at the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, told Dow Jones Newswires.

Tokyo stocks opened 0.50 percent higher on Thursday. A weaker yen is seen as positive for Japanese exporters as it makes their products more competitive abroad and inflates profits when repatriated. - Sapa-AFP

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