* Dollar index slips to lowest in about 2 weeks
* Market awaits Yellen's Congressional testimony
* Aussie touches levels above $0.9000, hits 1-month peak
* Upbeat business survey lifts Aussie dollar
By Ian Chua and Masayuki Kitano
SYDNEY/SINGAPORE, Feb 11 The dollar eased to a
two-week low against a basket of major currencies on Tuesday
ahead of congressional testimony by new U.S. Federal Reserve
chief Janet Yellen, while the Aussie dollar benefited from an
upbeat business survey.
Overall activity was thin due to a holiday in Japan, with
the paucity of major economic data in the region holding most
currencies inside recent ranges.
The dollar index eased 0.1 percent to 80.544, having
dropped to as low as 80.498 at one point, its lowest level since
Jan. 29. Against the yen, the dollar eased 0.1 percent to 102.16
The Australian dollar touched a one-month high of $0.9016,
getting a boost after a survey showed that Australian business
conditions rose to its highest in nearly three years in January.
The Aussie dollar last fetched $0.9004, up 0.6
percent from late U.S. trade on Monday.
There was probably some stop-loss buying at levels above
$0.9000 that added to the Aussie dollar's earlier rise, said
Satoshi Okagawa, senior global markets analyst for Sumitomo
Mitsui Banking Corporation in Singapore.
Market liquidity was likely thin overall, with Japanese
markets closed for a holiday, Okagawa added.
The euro rose 0.2 percent to $1.3670. Earlier, it
touched a two-week high of $1.3679.
Later on Tuesday all eyes will be on Yellen, who faces her
first test as chair of the world's most powerful central bank.
She will have to deal with questions from U.S. lawmakers,
some hostile to the central bank, who will want to know how
committed she is to winding back exceptional stimulus measures.
Her testimony comes at a tricky time given two months of
soft employment growth and as a deadline looms on raising the
U.S. government borrowing limit before a possible debt default.
Analysts generally assume Yellen will reiterate the Fed will
continue tapering its asset buying, as long as the economy
improves as expected, while reaffirming a commitment to keeping
rates low for a long time to come.
"We expect her messaging to be consistent with prior
communications," JPMorgan analysts wrote in a report to clients.
"We see no reasons why Chairman Yellen will front-run the
FOMC in March, especially while waiting for the outcome of one
more jobs report for additional clarity on the underlying trend
in labour markets."