September 14, 2017 / 1:02 AM / 10 months ago

FOREX-Dollar holds near 4-week high vs yen, focus on U.S. inflation data

* Dollar/yen stays firm near Wednesday’s 4-week high

* Focus on U.S. CPI data due later on Thursday

* Sterling steady before BoE monetary policy decision

By Masayuki Kitano

SINGAPORE, Sept 14 (Reuters) - The dollar held steady near a four-week high against the yen on Thursday, with traders looking to U.S. consumer inflation data later in the day for clues on the possible timing of the Federal Reserve’s next rate rise.

The dollar last stood at 110.59 yen, up 0.1 percent from late U.S. trade on Wednesday and trading within sight of Wednesday’s high of 110.69 yen, its highest level since Aug. 16.

The dollar, which slid to a 10-month low of 107.32 yen last week on worries over Hurricane Irma and North Korea, has climbed this week as risk sentiment improved and U.S. Treasury yields edged higher.

A near-term focus is U.S. inflation data due later on Thursday that will be closely watched by the U.S. Federal Reserve as it considers when to next raise interest rates. “The market has moved a little bit to the dovish side in terms of Fed expectations, so if let’s say the U.S. inflation numbers turn out to be a bit stronger than expected, then I think it will help add a little bit more to this dollar rebound,” said Heng Koon How, head of markets strategy for United Overseas Bank in Singapore.

U.S. core consumer price index is expected to have risen 1.6 percent on an annual basis in August versus 1.7 percent in July.

The Fed has a 2 percent inflation target, and a series of subdued inflation readings have dampened expectations for the Fed to raise interest rates again this year and weighed on the dollar.

The euro held steady at $1.1886, having pulled back from a 2-1/2 year high of $1.2092 set on Friday.

Later on Thursday, investors will also turn their focus to monetary policy decisions by the Bank of England and the Swiss National Bank.

Sterling held steady at $1.3211. On Wednesday it faltered after setting a one-year high of $1.3329, as investors took profits before the BoE policy decision on Thursday.

The BoE’s policymakers are widely expected to leave rates at a record low 0.25 percent when they make their latest policy statement at 1100 GMT.

But all eyes will be on Chief Economist Andy Haldane to see if he switches sides and joins the two members of the central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee who have been voting in vain to reverse last year’s quarter-point cut in rates. (Reporting by Masayuki Kitano; Editing by Eric Meijer)

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