Dollar range-bound in Asia
The dollar was range-bound against other major currencies in Asian trade on Wednesday as investors awaited key data for new leads on the outlook for the US economy, dealers said.
The dollar was quoted at 103.42 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade, up slightly from 103.29 in New York late Tuesday.
The euro slipped to 1.5195 dollars from 1.5210 and to 157.12 yen from 157.30.
"We are on a consolidation stage ahead of the payrolls data," said David Mann, currency strategist at Standard Chartered Bank.
The monthly US employment figures, a closely watched barometer of the overall economic climate, will be published on Friday, while the Institute for Supply Management services index for February was due later on Wednesday.
"If these data show that the credit crunch is starting to affect corporate activity and the labour market more severely than had been expected, the dollar may resume its nosedive," said Mitsubishi UFJ Securities forex manager Minoru Shioiri.
The dollar got some support from a report that bond insurer Ambac Financial is close to sealing a bailout package, easing concern about the credit crunch and helping trim losses on Wall Street, dealers said.
But Japanese exporters were selling dollars during any rallies, limiting the currency's scope for a rebound, they said.
Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke called overnight for vigorous action by mortgage lenders to avoid foreclosures, sparking a broad flight to quality.
"This situation calls for a vigorous response," he said in a speech prepared for delivery to bank executives. He warned that "delinquencies and foreclosures likely will continue to rise for a while longer."
"Although lenders and servicers have scaled up their efforts and adopted a wide variety of loss-mitigation techniques, more can and should be done," America's top central banker said.
The euro had a softer tone after European officials expressed concern about the currency surging above $1.50 (Dh5.51).
The worry is that a strong euro and yen will hurt Japanese and European exports to the United States, undermining overall economic growth.
Against regional Asian currencies, the dollar slipped to 1.3895 Singapore dollars from 1.3912 on Tuesday afternoon, to 30.84 Taiwan dollars from 30.86 and to 9,077.50 Indonesian rupiah from 9,100.00.
It dropped to 947.30 South Korean won from 947.35 and to 31.57 Thai baht from 31.62, while rising to 40.65 Philippine pesos from 40.62. (AFP)
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