Dollar gains in Asia on Fed meeting minutes

TOKYO- The dollar rallied in Asia Thursday after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s April policy meeting showed it would forge ahead with a cautious wind-down of its stimulus programme as the economy strengthens.

In Tokyo trade, the greenback bought 101.56 yen, up from 101.38 yen late in New York and much stronger than the 100.90 yen level touched in Tokyo earlier Wednesday.

The euro bought $1.3677 and 138.92 yen, against $1.3686 and 138.76 yen in US trade, as investors bet the European Central Bank will ease monetary policy next month to shore up the 18-nation eurozone economy.

Traders were more bullish after HSBC said a survey showed Chinese manufacturing activity sharply improved in May, hitting a five-month high and helping to ease concerns about the world’s number two economy.

In the United States Wednesday, minutes from the Fed’s April committee meeting showed policymakers discussing how to manage the impact of an interest rate hike they expect to implement in the middle of next year.

Their talks come as the bank winds down its massive stimulus programme owing to signs the world’s number one economy is getting back on track after the financial crisis.

The dollar turned down against the yen in Asia on Wednesday after the Bank of Japan doused expectations of more easing measures in coming months, saying the economy was improving despite concern that a sales tax rise will dent consumer spending and derail a recovery