* Boehner's comments boost risk appetite
* Dollar/yen supported by speculation of month-end bids
* Euro holds steady above Wednesday's low
By Hideyuki Sano
TOKYO, Nov 29 The yen held steady below a
one-week high versus the dollar on Thursday, while the euro
found some support as comments from U.S. policymakers rekindled
hopes of a deal to avert a sharp fiscal tightening.
"For the moment, the U.S. fiscal cliff seems to be a
dominant theme in the market," said Katsunori Kitakura,
associate general manager of market-making at Sumitomo Mitsui
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican in
Congress, voiced optimism that Republicans could broker a deal
with the White House to avert a fiscal crisis, even though he
repeated his opposition to raising income tax rates on high
President Barack Obama said on Wednesday he hoped to reach
an agreement with Congress before Christmas.
Investors fear the planned tax increases and spending cuts
due to start at the beginning of next year totalling about $600
billion could tip the world's biggest economy into recession and
depress the global economic outlook.
The dollar held steady versus the yen from late U.S. trade
on Wednesday at 82.08 yen, having bounced from
Wednesday's one-week low of 81.68 yen.
Expectations of big month-end dollar/yen bids helped lend
support to the dollar, which had been in a corrective decline
after hitting a 7 1/2-month high of 82.84 yen last week.
The yen has come under pressure over the past couple of
weeks due to market speculation about the chances of aggressive
monetary easing in Japan following a likely change in government
Main opposition leader Shinzo Abe, a front-runner to become
prime minister after the Dec. 16 election, has called for
radical change in monetary policy, including unlimited easing,
sparking a four-percent fall in the yen earlier this month.
The dollar is likely to trade in a 81.00 yen to 83.00 yen
range ahead of Japan's election, said a trader for a Japanese
bank in Singapore.
"Dollar/yen continuing to see some short-term players
building on longs," the trader said, adding that most market
players he had contact with were expecting that sort of range
The euro traded at about $1.2953, steady from late
U.S. levels and above Wednesday's low of $1.2880, supported by
improved risk appetite due to revived optimism over the U.S.
fiscal cliff negotiations.
Market players, however, remain concerned about some
elements of the latest aid deal for Greece, agreed by euro zone
finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund earlier
this week, with one looming issue being whether Greece can
successfully implement a debt buy-back.
Still, a positive technical sign for the euro is the bullish
hammer pattern on candlestick charts that its bounce from
Wednesday's trough has produced.
A drop in the 10-year Italian government bond yield to its
lowest level since February 2011 on Wednesday was another
supportive factor for the euro, as it suggests that investor
jitters over the euro zone's sovereign debt crisis are
The single currency faces resistance from the daily Ichimoku
cloud top around $1.2994 but a break there could open the way
for the euro to test a four-week high of $1.3010 hit on Tuesday
after Greece's international lenders agreed to unblock aid funds
Against the yen, the euro changed hands at 106.33 yen
, flat on the day and not far from a seven-month high
of 107.135 yen hit on Monday.