TOKYO–The dollar retreated in Asia Thursday after rallying in the previous session in response to an upbeat U.S. Federal Reserve economic report and better-than-expected Chinese growth figures. In afternoon Tokyo trading, the greenback fetched 101.51 yen, against 101.69 yen in New York Wednesday. The euro bought US$1.3523 against US$1.3524, while the single currency slipped to 137.29 yen from 137.55 yen in U.S. trade. The greenback had been enjoying some buying in recent days thanks to a generally upbeat outlook and healthy earnings reports that had also helped push stock markets higher. On Wednesday, the Fed’s regional Beige Book report said the U.S. economy continued to pick up steam, with all 12 economic regions of the country showing growth in the six weeks to July 7 — marking the second report in a row to do so. It is also the latest evidence the U.S. economy is gathering pace after unusually cold weather depressed activity in the first quarter. A day earlier Fed chief Janet Yellen suggested interest rates could rise earlier than expected if the economy continues to improve. Attention will now turn to the release of U.S. data, including on jobless claims and housing starts. “It is mainly a U.S. data focus tonight, but fairly steady outcomes are anticipated,” National Australia Bank said in a research note.
The dollar was mostly lower against other Asia-Pacific currencies. It fell to SG$1.2416 from SG$1.2436 on Wednesday, to 60.16 Indian rupees from 60.21 rupees, and to 1,031.10 South Korean won from 1,032.70 won. The U.S. unit also dropped to 43.56 Philippine pesos from 43.61 pesos, and to 11,662.50 Indonesian rupiah from 11,758.80 rupiah. The dollar bought 32.16 Thai baht against 32.17 baht. The Australian dollar rose to 93.65 U.S. cents from 93.38 cents, while the Chinese yuan fetched 16.33 yen against 16.38 yen.