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Dollar firmer around ¥113.70 in Tokyo before Yellen speech


The dollar was firmer around ¥113.70 in Tokyo trading late Tuesday, with traders waiting to see an upcoming speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to find any clues as to the timing of an additional interest rate hike by the U.S. central bank.

At 5 p.m., the dollar stood at ¥113.68-69, up from ¥113.53-54 at the same time Monday. The euro was at $1.1176-1176, up from $1.1164-1165, and at ¥127.06-07, down from ¥126.76-77.

The Yellen speech, scheduled to start 12:20 p.m. Tuesday local time in New York, comes after expectations of an early rate hike by the Fed were fueled late last week by upward revisions to U.S. gross domestic product data for October to December but diminished by a fall in personal consumption expenditures in February, announced Monday.

In New York trading overnight, the dollar briefly slipped below ¥113.20 on the weak PCE data.

In Tokyo, the greenback drifted around ¥113.40 in the early morning but sagged to levels around ¥113.20 later in the morning, also pressured by selling from Japanese exporters, traders said.

However, the U.S. currency was later buoyed to levels around ¥113.70 by purchases from Japanese importers and institutional investors, traders said.

In late trading, the dollar was supported by “speculation that Prime Minister (Shinzo) Abe may refer to possible stimulus measures and a postponement of the consumption tax hike at an evening news conference,” said an official at a currency margin trading service provider.

On the Yellen speech, the official said that the Fed chair is “expected to stick to neutral remarks, leaving the dollar-yen rate steady, except any brief swings.”

In addition to the speech, traders were keenly awaiting the U.S. government’s jobs report for March, to be released on Friday.