* Dollar, euro and yen all trapped in well-worn ranges
* Soft US data do nothing to clarify outlook for Fed policy
* Focus on emerging currencies after falls in Brazil, Mexico
By Wayne Cole
SYDNEY, Aug 27 The dollar was marking time
against the majors on Tuesday after disappointing U.S. data
dragged Treasury yields lower but failed to budge bets the
Federal Reserve will start tapering stimulus next month.
The dollar was stuck at 98.51 yen having wandered
between 98.35 and 98.70 overnight. The euro was equally becalmed
at $1.3372 after trading in a $1.3357 to $1.3394 range.
The dollar index was parked at 81.375, with support
at 81.224 and resistance around 81.719.
For any notable action, traders had to cast their eyes to
emerging markets where the Mexican peso and Brazilian
real came under fresh pressure, despite the drop in U.S. yields.
That could bode ill for emerging market currencies in Asia, and
particularly the Indonesian rupiah and Indian rupee.
Still, overshadowing everything was uncertainty about when
the Fed will start tapering and at what pace it might scale back
A sharp 7.3 percent drop in durable goods orders for July
seemed to argue for a cautious withdrawal, and helped 10-year
Treasury yields dip 3 basis points to 2.79 percent.
Still, much of the fall in orders came in the very volatile
aircraft and defence sectors. Strip those out and core orders
fell a more moderate 3.3 percent. The series also has a habit of
showing weakness in the first month of a quarter, followed by a
bounce over the following two months.
"We would not get too carried away by the weak durables
print," said Citi economist Dana Peterson.
"There is positive momentum coming from the consumer, fiscal
drag is dissipating and the housing revival remains solid," she
added. "So we would not alter our expectations for growth
materially or Fed decisions on tapering."
Looking ahead, the Asian data calendar is very light with
only Chinese industrial profits standing out. Germany releases
its Ifo business climate survey for August, while the U.S. has
the Case-Shiller house price index, consumer confidence and the
Richmond Fed survey.