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US dollar up in Asia following Fed decision

TOKYO--The dollar rose to a five-year high against the yen in Asia on Friday after the U.S. Federal Reserve said it would start decreasing its stimulus next month.

The greenback was changing hands at 104.58 yen — its highest since October 2008 — compared with 104.22 yen in New York.

The euro weakened to US$1.3625 and 142.33 yen from US$1.3661 and 142.41 yen.

“Going forward we expect the market to wind down gradually especially now that the Fed has made the ever-important first step, and the healthy sentiment will unlikely see a major change during the year-end period,” Credit Agricole said.

It said any upward revision of third-quarter U.S. economic growth later Friday would provide further evidence the world's number one economy is on track.

The Fed on Wednesday said it would reduce its bond-buying by US$10 billion next month to US$75 billion, citing a string of upbeat figures pointing to a strong recovery.

It added that it would likely take “further measured steps at future meetings” if the economy continues to improve while keeping interest rates a record lows “well past the time” the unemployment rate declines below 6.5 percent — its previous cut-off point before tightening monetary policy.

The news sent the greenback surging as the prospect of fewer dollars sloshing around the financial system boosted demand.

On Friday, the BOJ held off announcing any fresh measures to stimulate the economy, offering the upbeat view that it was “recovering moderately” while efforts to stoke inflation were taking hold.

The dollar, which rose against emerging market units the previous day, gained further ground against most other Asia-Pacific units.

It firmed to 12,250 Indonesian rupiah from 12,163 rupiah Thursday, to 1,061.20 South Korean won from 1,060.22 won, to 44.49 Philippine pesos from 44.44 pesos, and to 32.60 Thai baht from 32.41 baht.

The dollar eased to 62.28 Indian rupees from 62.43 rupees while the Australian dollar edged up to 88.70 U.S. cents from 88.45 cents.

The Chinese yuan changed hands at 17.16 yen against 17.12 yen.

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