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Dollar firms in Asia after US inflation rise

In Tokyo late afternoon trade, the dollar strengthened to 107.24 yen from 107.14 yen in New York late Wednesday.

The euro was at $1.2642 and 135.59 yen, against $1.2643 and 135.46 yen. The single currency is well down from $1.2820 and 136.54.

The Labor Department said Wednesday US consumer prices rose 0.1 percent in September, beating expectations for a 0.2 percent dip and easing worries about deflation. It also provides support for higher interest rates, which support the dollar.

The euro was unable to recover owing to rumours that the ECB could widen its asset-buying stimulus by including corporate bonds.

A news report on the issue Tuesday was followed Wednesday by a member of the ECB’s decision-making governing council saying several colleagues had mentioned the idea, but that it had yet to be seriously discussed.

A wider ECB monetary base would pump more euros into the system, denting demand for the unit and sending its value lower.

“Moves in forex have again been led by further euro-dollar weakness as the ECB ‘corporate bond buying’ story refuses to die,” National Australia Bank said in a note.

Credit Agricole said investors would be watching the release of purchasing managers indexes through the day, with expectations for weak readings that will hit appetite for higher-risk assets.

However, the first PMI release of the day from HSBC saw a slight uptick in Chinese activity. Readings from the eurozone and United States are due later in the day.

The dollar was mostly stronger against other Asia-Pacific currencies, climbing to 32.33 Thai baht from 32.31 baht on Wednesday, to Sg$1.2723 from Sg$1.2707, and to Tw$30.39 from Tw$30.37.

It also rose to 1,055.90 South Korean won from 1,052.77 won and to 61.26 Indian rupees from 61.22 rupees.

It was flat at 12,010.00 Indonesian rupiah and eased to 44.76 Philippine pesos from 44.78 pesos.

The Australian dollar weakened to 87.64 US cents from 87.88 cents while the Chinese yuan firmed to 17.53 yen from 17.49 yen.-AFP



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