FOREX-Dollar up on Fed tapering view; China data supports Aussie
* Dollar gains vs yen, seen supported by rise in U.S. yields
* Fed sheds little light on timing of QE tapering
* But analysts say September tapering still possible
* Aussie bounces on upbeat flash HSBC PMI for China
SINGAPORE, Aug 22 (Reuters) - The dollar rose versus the yen on Thursday after minutes of the Federal Reserve's meeting in July suggested that the U.S. central bank was still on track to start tapering its asset-buying programme as early as next month.
The greenback extended its gains versus the Japanese currency after a preliminary private survey showed that activity in China's manufacturing sector hit a four-month high in August.
The survey reinforced signs of stabilisation in China, triggering a bounce in the Australian dollar versus the yen.
That helped drag the yen broadly lower on the crosses and also against the U.S. dollar, which hit an intraday high near 98.33 yen and last fetched 98.16 yen, up 0.5 percent from late U.S. trade on Wednesday.
The greenback seemed to be drawing strength from a push higher in U.S. yields, said Hiroshi Maeba, head of FX trading Japan for UBS in Tokyo.
"I think the dollar is purely being bought on the back of a widening in interest rate differentials," Maeba said, adding that there was some talk of hedge fund buying of the dollar versus the yen this morning.
The U.S. 10-year Treasury yield set a fresh two-year high of 2.927 percent on Thursday. Such a rise in yields can increase the attractiveness of dollar-denominated assets.
The greenback inched higher versus the euro, which slipped 0.1 percent to $1.3336.
The Australian dollar held steady at $0.8977, having bounced from an intraday low of $0.8932. Against the yen, the Aussie dollar rose about 0.6 percent on the day to 88.10 yen .
The Fed minutes released on Wednesday showed members of the Federal Open Market Committee had different opinions as to when the Fed should start winding down its bond purchases.
The overall view, however, was that the minutes did not materially change the market's expectation that the Fed could start tapering its monetary stimulus as early as September.
Analysts say August nonfarm payrolls data, due on Sept. 6, will be closely watched by investors and policymakers to determine whether the improvement in the labour market is enough to justify scaling back the stimulus.