IDX News
DJ Dollar in Tight Range Against Yen Amid Lack Of Major Data

By Alexander Martin The dollar was in tight range against the yen during Asian trading Wednesday amid a lack of major trading cues, while investors continued to watch for signals on the pace of the U.S. economic recovery. The dollar fell against the yen overnight after the U.S. consumer confidence index declined to 78.1 in February from a downwardly revised 79.4 last month, according to the Conference Board. Earlier, U.S. home prices edged down 0.1% in December, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller's composite index. But the greenback edged higher Wednesday after the Nikkei Stock Average erased earlier losses, said Daisaku Ueno, senior foreign-exchange strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley. "The dollar climbed somewhat against the yen as the Nikkei retraced its earlier losses and risk sentiment improved, but it's not a big move -- the pair remains stuck in a tight range," he said. The focus ahead will be on U.S. January new home sales released later Wednesday and a speech by Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen to the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday. "But at this point, I don't think we should expect any big moves until next week's non-farm payrolls data," Mr. Ueno said. As of 0450 GMT, the dollar was at Y102.33 from Y102.24 late in New York trading Tuesday. Masafumi Yamamoto, chief strategist at Praevidentia Securities, said the dollar remains in a Y101-Y103 range with no strong direction, as both dollar-selling and yen-selling pressure collide. On the one hand, he said, there is mild dollar-selling pressure from view that recent weak U.S. data are the result of the severe winter weather in the U.S., and are just temporary. On the other hand, there is yen-selling pressure from expectations of further monetary easing by the Bank of Japan following Japan's weak fourth-quarter growth figures, and from the coming consumption tax increase in April. Combined, these factors have made it difficult for the pair to move in a clear direction, he said. The euro was at $1.3739 from $1.3745 and at Y140.60 from Y140.53. Interbank Foreign Exchange Rates At 23:50 EST / 0450 GMT Latest Previous %Chg Daily Daily %Chg Dollar Rates Close High Low 12/31 USD/JPY Japan 102.33-36 102.22-26 +0.10 102.41 102.14 -2.81 EUR/USD Euro 1.3738-40 1.3744-47 -0.05 1.3749 1.3738 -0.04 GBP/USD U.K. 1.6676-80 1.6678-85 -0.02 1.6688 1.6672 +0.73 USD/CHF Switzerland 0.8874-78 0.8866-70 +0.09 0.8876 0.8868 -0.60 USD/CAD Canada 1.1089-90 1.1083-88 +0.04 1.1096 1.1082 +4.40 AUD/USD Australia 0.9004-08 0.9017-21 -0.15 0.9022 0.8970 +1.02 NZD/USD New Zealand 0.8330-34 0.8326-33 +0.03 0.8336 0.8310 +1.35 Euro Rate EUR/JPY Japan 140.59-62 140.49-58 +0.05 140.72 140.40 -2.86 Source: ICAP PLC Write to Alexander Martin at