Dollar under pressure in Asia

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Tokyo - The dollar faced selling pressure in Asia on Wednesday as investors await the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's policy meeting last month.

In midday Tokyo trading, the greenback was quoted at 101.54 yen, against 101.57 yen in New York on Tuesday.

The euro bought $1.3614 and 138.23 yen, from $1.3611 and 138.24 yen.

“The event of the day will be the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) minutes,” National Australia Bank said in a note.

Among the key issues, traders want to know “how much importance is being given to the better data of late and the approach of the Fed's targets in inflation and employment”.

At its June meeting, the Fed slashed its 2014 growth forecast for the US economy after a severe winter but kept policy on hold, showing faith in a modest rebound.

While the bank has been cutting winding down bond-buying, interest rates have been next to zero for years and markets are keen to know when they might rise - which would support the dollar.

Fed officials now expect the benchmark federal funds rate to reach 2.5 percent by the final quarter of 2016, slightly higher than the projection they made in March.

“Admittedly, the change could partly reflect the shuffling of personnel on the FOMC rather than any underlying shift in the interest rate outlook,” Capital Economics said.

“But we will be looking for any signs of a more hawkish tilt.”

Dealers are now keeping an eye on China, which said on Wednesday that inflation came in at 2.3 percent last month, slowing from 2.5 percent in May.

On Thursday, Beijing will release its June trade statistics, while next week will see April-June economic growth data for the world's number two economy. - AFP


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