TOKYO, Japan – The dollar held up against the yen and euro in Asia on Wednesday as dealers await the release of key US data later in the week. The greenback was changing hands at 101.91 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade, marginally down from 101.98 yen in New York Tuesday afternoon.
The euro bought $1.3607 against $1.3606 while inching down to 138.66 yen from 138.75 yen. Not much of the data released Tuesday was particularly directional, said National Australia Bank in a note. The dollar was unable to break away from the yen in New York despite the US Conference Board saying consumer confidence increased for the second straight month in June to its highest level since January 2008.
Separately, the Commerce Department said sales of new homes in May hit their highest pace since 2008. Sales surged 18.6 percent month-on-month to 504,000 units as the country moved out of the winter lull. Also, sales were nearly 17 percent higher year-on-year. "US house prices were soft, but the market chose to focus on strong new home sales. US consumer confidence was solid," it noted.
The bank added that the euro also held its own despite a slip in Germany's Ifo index of business confidence. "Germany's Ifo, in contrast (to US data) was soft and disappointing," NAB said. The bank said markets were having another quiet day and were "likely to see lacklustre trading and the ebb and flow of unenthused participation".
Junichi Ishikawa, market analyst at IG Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires that investors may find it difficult to make a large move ahead of Thursday's US consumer spending data for May. The dollar was higher against other Asia-Pacific units. It rose to Sg$1.2514 from Sg$1.2493 on Tuesday, to 12,087.50 Indonesian rupiah from 11,997.50 rupiah and to 43.95 Philippine pesos from 43.85 pesos.
The greenback also firmed to 1,021.11 South Korean won from 1,017.95 won, to 60.37 Indian rupees from 60.11 rupees and to 32.48 Thai baht from 32.46 baht. The dollar stayed unchanged at Tw$29.97. The Australian dollar fell to 93.61 US cents from 94.24 cents, while the Chinese yuan was trading at 16.32 yen against 16.33 yen.