* Dollar remains buoyant as Fed taper lifts U.S. Treasury
* Aussie wallows near 3 1/2 year low hit after Fed
By Lisa Twaronite
TOKYO, Dec 20 The yen faced pressure in early
Asian trade on Friday, ahead of the outcome of a Bank of Japan
meeting at which policymakers were expected to maintain their
commitment to ultra-easy monetary policy.
The BOJ is expected to refrain from expanding its stimulus
any time soon as Japan's economic recovery takes root and a
weaker yen lifts exports.
Nearly two-thirds of Japanese firms expect the BOJ to ease
further, though, in the first six months of 2014, as it tries to
achieve 2 percent inflation within two years, a Reuters poll
showed earlier this month.
The dollar remained on firm footing, supported by a rise in
U.S. Treasury yields a day after the U.S. Federal Reserve said
it would start to cut its bond-buying stimulus.
The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield jumped as high
as 2.9512 percent on Thursday, hitting a three-month peak.
"Combined with solid economic growth, we expect the Fed to
begin raising rates in mid-2015, earlier than it currently
anticipates," strategists at Barclays said in a note to
Markets are likely to price in the likelihood of higher U.S.
interest rates much sooner, they added, and "the normalization
of the U.S. rates curve should add to USD gains."
The greenback was up 0.1 percent at 104.29 yen, not
far from a five-year high of 104.37 yen touched on the EBS
trading platform in the wake of the Fed's announcement.
The euro was flat on the day against its Japanese
counterpart at 142.42 yen, within sight of its
five-year high of 142.89 yen struck after the Fed's move.
The euro was down about 0.1 percent against the dollar at
$1.3655, not far from the previous session's low of
$1.3649, which was its deepest nadir against the dollar since
The Australian dollar wallowed not far from a 3-1/2-year low
hit after the Fed revealed its stimulus reduction plans.
The Aussie fell as far as $0.8820, its lowest since
August 2010, and was last down about 0.1 percent at $0.8856.