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May 29, 2017

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Dollar mixed in Asia after Fed minutes

TOKYO--The dollar was mixed in Asia Thursday after minutes from a Federal Reserve meeting and upbeat jobs data fuelled speculation of another pullback on the central bank's stimulus measures.

The greenback bought 104.85 yen in afternoon Tokyo trade, almost flat from 104.82 yen but still down from rates just above 105 yen in Tokyo late Wednesday.

The euro held firm at 142.33 yen from 142.26 yen in U.S. trade and US$1.3575 from US$1.3574, following positive eurozone data, including strong German factory orders, as the European Central Bank (ECB) wraps up a policy meeting later in the day.

"The dollar is in a real dogfight between those that are bent on shorting it and more fundamental-oriented players who are bidding it up," CLSA equity strategist Nicholas Smith told Dow Jones Newswires.

On Wednesday, the Fed published minutes from its Dec. 17-18 meeting that showed policymakers expected unemployment to continue falling even without the support of its vast bond-buying program.

The meeting concluded with the U.S. central bank reducing its stimulus — which has been in place since September 2012 — by US$10 billion to US$75 billion in January.

There is now rising speculation over another reduction, which is positive for the dollar, after the Fed's next policy meeting this month.

Adding to those expectations, a report by payrolls firm ADP showed U.S. private-sector job growth surged in December, topping November for the strongest pace of the year with a net new 238,000 jobs.

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