, TOKYO, Dec 16 – The dollar maintained upward momentum Thursday in Asia as investors welcomed strong US economic data and rising Treasury yields, analysts said.
Fiscal worries for troubled eurozone nations weighed on the euro and supported the dollar, they added.
The dollar stood at 84.23 yen, unchanged from New York overnight, when it jumped sharply thanks to a rise in US industrial production as well as improving New York area manufacturing activity data.
The euro stood at 1.3212 dollars and 111.30 yen, nearly flat from 1.3211 dollars and 111.27 yen in New York, where the single European currency plunged on lingering fiscal woes in Europe.
The dollar may gain further on easing concerns over US deflation and hopes that the US Congress will approve a tax cut bill, Masafumi Yamamoto, chief foreign exchange strategist at Barclays Bank in Tokyo, told Dow Jones Newswires.
Investors were also hoping for "a positive surprise" as they await the release of US weekly jobless claims, new housing starts and a business outlook survey by the Federal Reserve in Philadelphia.
Higher US Treasury yields, boosted by brightening hopes for US recovery, also lifted the dollar, analysts said.
The euro remained pressured after ratings agency Moody’s warned it might downgrade Spain because of its massive debt.
"The good US economic news was set against news that Moody’s may downgrade Spain, which is still euro-negative, even though it should really come as no surprise," said RBC Capital Markets in a note to clients.
"The ongoing stresses and strains renew focus on the need for a permanent solution" to Europe’s fiscal and debt problems, the note said.
The dollar generally rose against other Asian currencies.
It firmed to 1.3159 Singapore dollars from 1.3100 Wednesday, to 1,158.40 South Korean won from 1,153.40, to 9,035.00 Indonesian rupiah from 9,015.00, to 30.10 Thai baht from 30.05, and to 44.12 Philippine pesos from 43.89.
But it edged down to 29.84 Taiwan dollars from 29.90.