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September 24, 2017

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Dollar firm ahead of Fed policy decision

TOKYO -- The dollar held steady in Asia on Wednesday as investors await the end of a two-day U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting later in the day.

In Tokyo midday trading, the greenback fetched 102.15 yen, against 102.13 yen late in New York and well up from the 102 yen in Tokyo earlier Tuesday.

The euro bought US$1.3547 and 138.36 yen, against US$1.3546 and 138.35 yen.

The Fed's two-day meeting is expected to wrap up with policymakers keeping interest rates at record lows and announcing a further cut to the bank's stimulus program.

Bank policymakers will keep in mind data on Tuesday showing U.S. interest rates in May jumping to their highest level since October 2012, which gave a fillip to the greenback in New York.

However, the focus will be on its outlook for the economy and clues about future policy direction, with speculation growing that rates will go up next year.

"The policy rate should be unchanged, with all forecasters showing a continued taper of US$10 billion this month," National Australia Bank said.

But little change in the Fed's economic projections "would be disappointing to markets, and we should see yields lower and the U.S. dollar lower," it said in a note.

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