Dollar edges down in Asia

TOKYO, Japan – The dollar edged down in Asia on Friday, extending losses in New York that were driven by dovish comments from the head of the US Federal Reserve that indicated interest rates will not go up until next year.

In afternoon Tokyo trade, the dollar bought 101.84 yen, down from 101.94 yen in New York on Thursday. The euro firmed to $1.3623 from $1.3606 and to 138.75 yen from 138.70 yen. The dollar began sliding after the Fed on Wednesday said it would further cut its stimulus programme while keeping rates at record lows, and made no mention that it would bring forward plans to tighten monetary policy.

Fed chief Janet Yellen said that the economy was growing steadily and dismissed a fresh uptick in inflation as noise reflecting some short-term distortions. This suggests that the Fed still sees a low-inflation environment for the next year or more. Junya Tanase, chief foreign exchange strategist at JP Morgan, told Dow Jones Newswires that it was tough to see how the dollar-yen rates will "break outside the current range to show a clear trend, at least for near term".

The dollar was broadly higher against other Asia-Pacific units, rising to Sg$1.2493 from Sg$1.2483 on Thursday, to 1,019.22 South Korean won from 1,018.60 won, and to 11,967.00 Indonesian rupiah from 11,923.80 rupiah. It also rose to 32.45 Thai baht from 32.41 baht and to 60.31 Indian rupees from 59.93 rupees. It was unchanged at Tw$29.98 while falling to 43.77 Philippine pesos from 43.88 pesos.

The Australian dollar bought 94.07 US cents against 94.02 cents, while the Chinese yuan changed hands at 16.32 against 16.36 yen.

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