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Euro weak as dollar stays firm on US confidence

TOKYO -- The euro sat around its lowest levels against the dollar in nearly a year in Asia on Wednesday, with investors betting on fresh easing measures from the European Central Bank (ECB) while the greenback was boosted by upbeat U.S. data.

The single currency slipped to US$1.3151 in Tokyo morning trade — down from US$1.3169 in New York Tuesday and the lowest level since September — before edging back up to US$1.3660. It also slipped to 136.89 yen from 137.03 yen.

The euro-dollar “continues lower in anticipation of new easing measures being announced by the ECB next week”, National Australia Bank said in a note.

The ECB announced unprecedented easing measures in June but its head Mario Draghi hinted at a further relaxing of policy as he looks to ward off deflation in the eurozone. The bank will hold a decision-making Governing Council meeting in Frankfurt on Sept. 4.

The dollar held firm after the Conference Board said consumer confidence rose for a fourth straight month to its strongest level since February 2008. Also, durable goods orders surged in July to a new monthly record, according to the Commerce Department.

The greenback bought 104.01 yen in Tokyo, against 104.05 yen in New York.

Eyes are now on the release of revised U.S. growth figures for April-June, which could add fuel to speculation that the Federal Reserve will raise its key interest rate sooner than later.

The dollar was mostly lower against other Asia-Pacific currencies.

It dipped to SG$1.2485 from SG$1.2503 on Tuesday, to 31.91 Thai baht from 31.93 baht and to 11,700.00 Indonesian rupiah from 11,710.10 rupiah.

The greenback fell to 1,014.25 South Korean won from 1,017.04 won, to 43.68 Philippine pesos from 43.81 pesos and to NT$29.93 from NT$29.96.

The dollar fetched 60.49 Indian rupees against 60.48 rupees.

The Australian dollar rose to 93.18 U.S. cents from 92.89 cents, while the Chinese yuan bought 16.89 yen against 16.84 yen.

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