Dollar edges up in Asia

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Tokyo - The dollar turned up in Asia on Wednesday after suffering losses in New York, as investors await key US indicators that will give dealers a better idea about the Federal Reserve's plans for its stimulus programme.

The greenback bought 102.56 yen in afternoon Tokyo trade, a shade higher than 102.48 yen in New York on Tuesday but still well down from 103.25 yen in Asia.

The euro was mixed, buying $1.3588 and 139.35 yen compared with $1.3589 and 139.27 yen in US trade.

Investors are awaiting a string of US data this week, including third-quarter growth, home sales, the Fed's Beige book on regional economies and private sector jobs, culminating with non-farm payrolls on Friday.

A strong set of figures will increase speculation of a pullback as early as the bank's next policy meeting in two weeks' time.

Currency players will also be keeping an eye on eurozone growth data and a European Central Bank (ECB) meeting on Thursday, analysts said.

Speculation has been building that ECB policymakers will launch fresh easing measures after cutting interest rates to a record low of 0.25 percent last month.

“Cautiousness seems to be the dominant theme ahead of the key ECB decision and US non-farm payroll later in the week,” Credit Agricole said.

The dollar enjoyed a rally at the start of the week after a survey of factories showed US manufacturing activity grew at a much faster rate in November than in October, notching up the sixth-consecutive monthly rise. Forecasts had been for a slowdown.

“A batch of solid US data (Wednesday)... could see market talk of a December taper intensify, leading to a heightening of unease ahead of the all important jobs report on Friday,” Credit Agricole said.

The dollar was mostly higher against other Asia-Pacific currencies.

It slipped to 32.18 Thai baht from 32.22 baht on Tuesday as Thailand's anti-government protesters and security forces observed a temporary truce ahead of the king's birthday.

It also sank to 1,060.84 South Korean won from 1,062.26 won, to Sg$1.2539 from Sg$1.2569, to 43.73 Philippine pesos from 43.76 pesos, and to Tw$29.57 from Tw$29.58.

It rose to 62.50 Indian rupees from 62.40 rupees, and to 12,009 Indonesian rupiah from 11,858 rupiah.

The Australian dollar fell to 90.66 US cents from 90.83 cents, while the Chinese yuan inched down to 16.81 yen from 16.92 yen. - AFP

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