Dollar rises as Fed sticks to asset buying

December 15, 2010 12:00 am

, TOKYO, Dec 15 – The dollar rose against the yen and euro in Asia Wednesday after the US central bank said it would maintain its huge asset purchase programme to support the weak economic recovery, analysts said.

The dollar rose to 83.81 yen in Tokyo trade from 83.66 yen in New York late Tuesday.

The euro fell to 1.3347 dollars from 1.3375 dollars while edging down to 111.87 yen from 111.90 yen.

"Buying is exceeding selling for the dollar" as the US Federal Reserve’s policy-making body said after a meeting Tuesday it would maintain the current measures, said Mizuho Corporate Bank market economist Daisuke Karakama.

"Some (investors) had expected that a further monetary easing measure would be announced but the outcome was to maintain the 600 billion dollar programme" to buy Treasury bonds, Karakama said.

The Fed announcement led to lower bond prices and higher yields, sending the dollar up, he said.

"The euro is bowing its head" in the face of the US economic measures, Masanobu Ishikawa, a general manager at Tokyo Forex & Ueda Harlow, told Dow Jones Newswires.

The Federal Open Market Committee also held record-low interest rates unchanged as widely expected. It said the recovery was too weak to reduce high unemployment, a key challenge in getting the world’s largest economy back on a sustainable course, and inflation trends were worryingly weak.

The euro was under pressure amid continuing worries over eurozone fiscal debts.

The euro fell back after enjoying a brief boost overnight from Germany’s ZEW economic expectations indicator that showed investors were upbeat going into 2011, Karakama said.

"We know Germany is OK. The problem is the rest of the eurozone countries," he said, adding the common currency could drop below 1.3 dollars on fresh negative news on sovereign debts in Europe.

Currency rates were almost unchanged after the Bank of Japan early Wednesday released a business sentiment survey, which showed the first worsening in nearly two years, dealers said.

The dollar generally rose against other Asian currencies.

It firmed to 1.3100 Singapore dollars from 1.3023 Tuesday, to 1,153.40 South Korean won from 1,140.88, to 9,015.00 Indonesian rupiah from 9,013.25, to 30.05 Thai baht from 30.03, and to 43.89 Philippine pesos from 43.83.

But it edged down to 29.90 Taiwan dollars from 29.92.


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