FOREX-Dollar off 3-week high vs yen after U.S. fiscal impasse ends
* U.S. House and Senate pass bill to avert govt default
* Dollar/yen slips on sell-the-fact type of reaction
* Greenback pulls back from 3-week high vs yen
By Masayuki Kitano
SINGAPORE, Oct 17 (Reuters) - The dollar eased against the yen on Thursday in a sell-the-fact type of reaction after the U.S. Congress approved an 11th-hour deal to end a fiscal standoff and avoid a damaging default on government debt.
The dollar slipped 0.3 percent to 98.44 yen, having pulled back from a three-week high of 99.01 yen set earlier in the day.
The dollar lost momentum after rising initially in anticipation of an end to the fiscal impasse, and fell to its intraday lows versus the yen after the U.S. House of Representatives approved a deal that had already been passed by the Senate.
Hiroshi Maeba, head of FX trading Japan for UBS in Tokyo, said Japanese exporters and foreign players were spotted selling the dollar over the course of the day.
The outlook in coming weeks was for range trading in the dollar, Maeba said.
"There aren't any factors for the dollar to suddenly break above 100 yen," he added.
"Broadly speaking, the dollar could trade between 95 yen to 100 yen toward the year-end. I think we could see a rise to 100 yen, but that would require a fresh factor," he said, adding that the market is likely to turn its focus now to the U.S. economy.
The deal approved by Congress offers only a temporary fix and does not resolve the fundamental issues of spending and deficits that divide Republicans and Democrats.
The spending measure, which was quickly signed by President Barack Obama, funds the government until Jan. 15 and raises the debt ceiling until Feb. 7. That means Americans face the possibility of another government shutdown early next year.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback's value against a basket of currencies, slipped 0.2 percent to 80.339 , backing away from a one-month high of 80.754 that had been touched on Wednesday.
One factor that could weigh on the dollar is recent market speculation that the timing of the U.S. Federal Reserve's expected tapering of monetary stimulus could be pushed back, in the wake of the U.S. fiscal drama.
Satoshi Okagawa, senior global markets analyst for Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation in Singapore, said he was sceptical about the chances of the dollar climbing sharply against the yen at this stage.
"I don't get the sense that the dollar will head for a rally above 100 yen and keep heading sharply higher from there," he said.
The euro edged up 0.1 percent to $1.3552, inching away from a two-week low of $1.3472 hit on Wednesday.