Dollar takes breather
The dollar was stable in Asian trade on Wednesday as market players digested signs that the Federal Reserve may be open to further interest rate cuts, dealers said.
They said the yen was on the back foot as growing risk appetite encouraged traders to sell the Japanese unit for higher-return currencies.
The dollar edged up to 117.26 yen in Tokyo morning trade from 117.18 in New York late Tuesday.
The euro was steady at 1.4107 dollars after 1.4104, while rising to 165.41 yen from 165.20.
"Trading is quiet as we don't see new market-moving news," said Kenichi Yumoto, vice president of foreign exchange sales and trading at Societe Generale in Tokyo.
He said selling of the yen against high-yielding currencies was boosting the dollar against the Japanese currency.
"Rises in share prices have given market players a breather and made them resume some carry trade," in which they sell the yen for higher-return currencies, he said.
This was mainly boosting currencies other than the dollar.
"The benefits of buying dollars with yen are becoming smaller, given prospects of further interest rate cuts in the United States," he said.
On Wall Street, US share prices leapt to record highs Tuesday as minutes from the last Federal Reserve meeting sparked renewed speculation about the possibility of another US rate cut, dealers said.
The minutes suggested policymakers were worried about a spillover from the housing and credit woes to the broader economy when they voted to cut rates by half a percentage point.
Without a rate cut, the members feared that "tightening credit conditions and an intensifying housing correction would lead to significant broader weakness in output and employment," according to the minutes.