US dollar steady against the euro

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Graphic: Renjith Krishnan.

The dollar lost a little bit of ground against the euro and was largely flat against the yen in quiet trade on Thursday as investors awaited a clear sign from US “fiscal cliff” talks.

The euro stood at $1.3241 towards 00:00 SA time, up from $1.3226 late Wednesday. It also rose against the Japanese yen, reaching 111.72 yen compared to 111.59 yen a day earlier.

The dollar held steady against the yen, after reaching its highest level against the currency since April 2011 on Wednesday.

On Thursday, the greenback edged lower to 84.38 yen towards 00:00 SA time from 84.39 yen a day earlier.

Japan's central bank unveiled more huge monetary easing earlier Thursday in the wake of a weekend election won by the Liberal Democratic Party.

With an end-of-year deadline approaching, the markets are watching whether Washington can avert the so-called fiscal cliff, a mix of tax hikes and spending cuts set to take effect in January that could plunge the world's biggest economy back into recession.

Analysts said remarks by top Republican John Boehner had sparked slight optimism, increasing investors' appetite for risk, for the euro among other things.

Talks between President Barack Obama and Boehner on averting the “fiscal cliff” have stalled amid accusations of political grandstanding on both sides.

In other currencies, the dollar slipped to 0.9115 Swiss francs, while the pound rose to $1.6280. - Sapa-AFP


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