US dollar at $1.22 against the euro

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IOL world currency1 Graphic: Renjith Krishnan.

The dollar was rangebound against other major currencies in Asian trade Wednesday as investors awaited the US central bank's “Beige Book” regional review to get a clue on additional monetary easing.

The euro fetched $1.2281 in Tokyo afternoon trade compared with $1.2292 in New York late Tuesday. The European currency dipped against the yen, buying 97.08 yen from 97.23 yen.

The dollar was quoted at 79.03 yen, slightly down from 79.10 yen.

The greenback edged down in earlier trade on improved risk sentiment following gains in US stocks in New York.

The Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke told Senate lawmakers Tuesday that the economy was poised to slow further from the roughly 2.0 percent growth in the first quarter.

Bernanke offered no clear signal that additional stimulus was in the pipeline, but said the central bank was prepared to act if conditions deteriorate.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 12,805.54, gaining 0.62 percent, more than erasing Monday's losses.

Against the yen, the dollar “is supported by expectations that the next quantitative easing (by the Fed) could boost share prices,” Masafumi Yamamoto, chief currency strategist at Barclays Capital, said in a note to clients.

Junichi Ishikawa, forex analyst at IG Markets Securities in Tokyo, said yen-buying pressure may increase if US economic indicators, including some corporate earnings results due Wednesday, show weaker than expected figures.

The Fed's Beige Book will also be in focus, he said, adding if “it shows a positive outlook on the economy like it did last month, it could further reduce expectations for additional easing and lift the dollar” against the yen.

The US dollar was also mixed against other Asian currencies, falling to Sg$1.2598 from Sg$1.2618 on Tuesday, to 1,139.90 South Korean won from 1,142.50 won and to 41.63 Philippine pesos from 41.70 pesos.

But it rose to 55.19 Indian rupees from 54.87 rupees, to 31.66

Thai baht from 31.56 baht, to Tw$29.97 from Tw$29.95, and to 9,465.00 Indonesian rupiah from 9,464.00.

The Australian dollar bought US$1.0308 against US$1.0304 while the Chinese yuan was flat at 12.37 yen. - Sapa-AFP


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