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Dollar firms in Asia as crisis-hit Thailand's baht slips

TOKYO - The dollar rose against the yen in Asia on Tuesday as investors await clues about future US and Japanese monetary policy, while the Thai baht slipped after the army declared martial law in the crisis-hit nation.

In Tokyo afternoon trading, the greenback fetched 101.52 yen, up from 101.45 yen in New York Monday afternoon.

Investors are focusing on the Bank of Japan’s two-day board meeting, which wraps up Wednesday. While it is expected to end with no movement on monetary policy, traders will be closely following remarks by BoJ chief Haruhiko Kuroda.

The central bank head has previously said the BoJ would not hesitate to loosen policy if necessary.

However, if Kuroda emphasises an upbeat view on the world’s third-largest economy, "the market will likely interpret (that) as a signal he will allow a stronger yen and weaker stock market," said Osamu Takashima, chief FX strategist at Citigroup Global Markets Japan.

Investors were also waiting for Wednesday’s release of US Federal Reserve meeting minutes. The minutes cover a two-day Fed meeting that concluded on April 30 at which the Fed trimmed its stimulus programme by another $10 billion to $45 billion a month.

In other trading, the dollar gained against the Thai baht after the army on Tuesday declared martial law across the country to restore order following months of anti-government protests.

The US unit was changing hands at 32.51 baht, after jumping as high as 32.65 baht earlier Tuesday. It bought 32.47 baht Monday afternoon.

However, market intervention by the Bank of Thailand may have clipped the baht’s fall.

Markets took a cue on speculation of central bank intervention and sold off the dollar, according to a couple of traders based in Singapore.

AFP


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