FOREX-Dollar stays firm vs yen, some focus on Japanese flows

Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:39pm EDT

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TOKYO Aug 23 (Reuters) - The dollar edged higher versus the yen on Friday, with some traders speculating that the dollar could attract demand from Japanese importers.

Market expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve could start scaling back its massive stimulus programme as early as September also helped support the U.S. currency.

The dollar rose 0.3 percent to 98.96 yen. The dollar gained 1 percent versus the Japanese currency on Thursday, supported by a rise in U.S. Treasury yields.

The 10-year Treasury yield last stood near 2.903 percent , having set a two-year high of 2.936 percent on Thursday. Such a rise in yields can increase the attractiveness of dollar-denominated assets.

Treasury yields had pushed higher after minutes of the Federal Reserve's July meeting on Wednesday did little to change market expectations that the Fed could start tapering its bond-buying programme as early as next month.

Traders said Japanese importers may buy dollars against the yen and help keep the yen on a back foot in the near term.

"A lot of the people are speculating that ... there is going to be demand. But most of the Japanese corporates were off last week. I expect it's a non-event," a trader at a Japanese bank said.

The euro eased 0.1 percent to $1.3345. Against the yen, the euro edged up 0.1 percent to about 132.04 yen after having climbed more than 1 percent against the Japanese currency on Thursday.

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