US dollar sees mixed day in Asian trading on Fed stimulus speculation


TOKYO–The dollar was mixed in Asian trade Friday after earlier dipping on speculation that an uncertain U.S. economic recovery would spur the Federal Reserve to usher in further easing measures. The greenback bought 78.56 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade from 78.59 yen in New York late Thursday. The euro bought US$1.2257 from US$1.2282 while it also weakened to 96.29 yen from 96.48 yen. The euro, already under pressure over fears about Europe’s fiscal woes, was also being sold against the Australian dollar which has been boosted by higher commodity prices, dealers said. “But with a lack of cues, there isn’t much direction,” said Junichi Ishikawa, forex analyst at IG Market Securities in Tokyo. Weak U.S. jobless claims and housing data on Thursday stoked expectations for further Fed stimulus, which weighed on the U.S. dollar. Also Thursday, Germany’s parliament approved a European aid package for crisis-wracked Spanish banks that aims to prevent Spain’s whole economy from sinking further. Spain is hoping to get a first slice of 30 billion euros by the end of the month and has in turn agreed to a raft of banking sector reforms and EU inspections to ensure the restructuring process is effective. The debate in Germany, which is putting up nearly 30 percent of the loans, has revolved around who is liable for guarantees. However, currency traders were little moved by the aid package since it had largely been viewed as a done deal, said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief currency strategist at Barclays Capital.