TOKYO- The dollar held steady in Asia Tuesday following a mixed set of US economic data, as investors await key jobs figures later in the week and ahead of the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting.
The greenback fetched 104.30 yen in morning Tokyo trade, up from 104.19 yen but still well off the five-year high of 105.41 yen touched last week.
The euro bought $1.3625 against $1.3629, while it gained to 142.16 from 142.02 yen.
On Monday, data showed growth in the US service sector slowed last month, although that was offset by figures pointing to November new factory orders hitting their highest level in more than 20 years.
Eyes are on the release Wednesday of of minutes from the US Federal
Reserve’s most recent policy meeting, with analysts looking for clues about whether officials will further cut its stimulus programme this month.
The Fed last month said it would reduce its bond-buying scheme by $10 billion to $75 billion a month in January, citing a healthy recovery in the
world’s number one economy.
A strong set of jobs figures on Friday could push the bank to announce a further reduction in the stimulus, in turn pushing the dollar higher.
“If the (jobs data) outcome meets expectations, the dollar should resume rising against the yen, while a disappointing result… could bring the dollar back to 102 yen,” Masafumi Yamamoto, chief strategist at Praevidentia Strategy in Tokyo, told Dow Jones Newswires.
Eurozone inflation data due for release later Tuesday will be a key trading peg for the euro, dealers said, as the European Central Bank prepares for a policy meeting this week.
Weak inflation figures have stoked speculation of further easing moves by the ECB to counter any slowdown in the 17-nation bloc.