3 Min Read
* U.S. retail sales surprise on upside, U.S. yields jump
* Dollar may rise toward 80 yen by month-end -analyst
* U.S. industrial output, CPI coming up later in the day
By Masayuki Kitano
SINGAPORE, Aug 15 (Reuters) - The dollar held steady near a one-month high against the yen on Wednesday, after surprisingly upbeat U.S. retail sales data the previous day dampened talk of more monetary stimulus from the Federal Reserve.
The broad-based expansion in retail sales bolstered the view that the slowdown in U.S. economic growth during the second quarter will prove temporary, prompting a jump in U.S. Treasury yields.
The dollar held steady at 78.79 yen, after having climbed to 78.939 yen the previous day on trading platform EBS, the dollar's highest level since mid-July.
Analysts said the greenback could eke out more gains in the near term, supported by waning expectations for the Fed to launch a third round of bond-buying, or quantitative easing, as early as September.
"It wouldn't be a surprise to see the dollar rise to 80 yen by the end of the month," said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief FX strategist Japan for Barclays Capital in Tokyo.
The dollar may prove resilient against the yen over the next couple of weeks, despite the potential for fund repatriation by Japanese institutional investors over the course of August, he said.
August typically sees a large number of bond redemptions in U.S. Treasuries as well as coupon payments, and Japanese investors holding Treasuries might sell the dollar against the yen to bring home some of the proceeds, traders and analysts say.
"Even if there is fund repatriation related to such coupon payments, I think that is unlikely to lead to a trend of yen strength," Yamamoto added.
Later in the day, the market will get the latest reading on U.S. consumer inflation and industrial output. Price pressure is expected to remain benign, while industrial production is forecast to accelerate a touch from the previous month.
"The greenback may track higher throughout the remainder of the week as the data...dampens speculation for additional monetary support," said David Song, currency analyst at DailyFX.
The euro held steady at $1.2322.
The single currency has gained something of a reprieve after falling to a two-year low of $1.2042 in late July and hit a one-month high of $1.2444 last week, supported by expectations that the European Central Bank will soon put in place measures to lower crippling borrowing costs for Spain and Italy.
Short-term technical charts look favourable for the euro now, with the currency having mostly traded within a short-term uptrend channel since hitting its two-year low, said Roy Teo, FX strategist Asia for ABN AMRO Private Banking in Singapore.
"So a bit of short-covering will still continue to unfold," Teo said, referring to the unwinding of bearish bets against the euro.