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Dollar, euro surge against yen in Asia trading

TOKYO -- The dollar and euro rallied against the yen in Asia on Tuesday as Japanese central bank policymakers prepared to meet, under pressure to launch more economic stimulus as the economy falters.

In afternoon Tokyo trade the dollar jumped to 104.82 yen, its highest level since January, and up from 104.27 yen in Europe. The euro surged to 137.55 yen against 136.94 yen.

The greenback also added to recent gains against the euro as the European Central bank heads into a policy meeting this week. The single currency was at US$1.3122 in Tokyo, down from US$1.3133 in Europe.

Japan and the eurozone have both recorded poor economic data recently, boosting expectations of further monetary easing which would tend to weaken their respective currencies.

At the same time the U.S. Federal Reserve is being urged in some quarters to raise interest rates — which would lift the dollar — as the economy shows regular signs of getting back on track.

Yosuke Hosokawa, head of Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank's forex sales team, acknowledged that speculation over BoJ easing was a factor in the dollar-yen rate's moves, although he added that it was “not the main factor behind today's trade.”

“Selling pressure on the euro ahead of the ECB meeting pushed up the dollar, which maintained its strength against other currencies, including the yen,” Hosokawa said.

The dollar was higher against other Asia-Pacific currencies.

It strengthened to SG$1.2524 from SG$1.2496 on Monday, to 32.06 Thai baht from 31.97 baht, to 11,726.30 Indonesian rupiah from 11,697.00 rupiah, to 1,017.71 South Korean won from 1,013.90 won, and to 43.62 Philippine pesos from 43.58 pesos.

The U.S. unit firmed to 60.60 Indian rupees from 60.49 rupees.

The Australian dollar weakened to 92.95 U.S. cents from 93.40 cents as the country's central bank kept interest rates on hold at a record low 2.5 percent, while the Chinese yuan rose to 17.02 yen from 16.95 yen.

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