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Dollar up on yen ahead of Yellen speech

Dollar and Yen

The dollar advanced against the yen and euro on Tuesday but edged broadly lower against other Asian currencies as dealers await a speech by Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen.

Yellen’s talk in New York later in the day comes after the bank earlier this month lowered its forecasts for lifting borrowing costs this year citing concerns about the impact on the US economy of market turmoil in January and February.

Her comments will be pored over to see if she sheds any light on Fed interest rate policy thinking, after the US central bank in December lifted key interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade.

A recent run of strong US data — including Friday’s better-than-expected fourth-quarter GDP growth — have raised chances of a fresh increase sometime soon, although analysts said disappointing inflation and consumer spending figures Monday dampened expectations.

“The probability of the Fed chair being overly upbeat and hawkish is low,” Chris Weston, Melbourne-based chief market strategist at IG, said in a commentary.

“To be fair, no one is really putting any weight on the (Fed’s) April meeting being a ‘live’ one, but the June meeting probably is.”

On Tuesday, the greenback climbed to 113.62 yen from 113.45 yen Monday in New York, while trading remained relatively quiet as dealers returned after the long Easter break.

The euro fell to $1.1191 from $1.1196, while edging up to 127.14 yen from 127.01 yen.

Also on the agenda this week is the release Friday of a US jobs report that will give further insight into the state of the world’s biggest economy.

Higher-yielding, but riskier, emerging market currencies broadly inched up against the dollar. The Malaysian ringgit climbed 0.28 percent and the South Korean won added 0.23 percent, while the Singapore and Taiwan dollars also rose.



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