Sunday, March 27, 2016

FOREX-Dollar on firm footing; awaits data, Fed comments

* Dollar continues to edge up vs euro and yen

* Dollar index nudges up to 12-day high

* Market awaits US data, statements by Fed's Yellen and Dudley

By Shinichi Saoshiro

TOKYO, March 28 The dollar nudged up against the euro and yen on Monday, after rebounding last week following a series of comments from U.S. Federal Reserve officials who supported the case for more interest rate hikes.

The remarks such as those from St. Louis President James Bullard raised prospects of more rate hikes than the market had anticipated.

Such views helped the greenback recover from a knock earlier this month when the Fed halved its rate hike expectations to two from four this year.

A batch of U.S. indicators this week will provide investors with a chance to gauge whether the U.S. economy is robust enough to bear a series of rate hikes.

"The dollar's near-term performance will hinge on data, notably Friday's Japanese tankan, U.S. non-farm payrolls and the manufacturing PMI," said Shusuke Yamada, chief Japan FX strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Tokyo.

Other U.S. data that could impact the dollar this week include the core personal consumption expenditures price (PCE) index due later on Monday and Thursday's Chicago purchasing management index (PMI).

"Statements by the Fed's Yellen and Dudley will also be in focus. They are core Fed board members and dollar will be supported if they express hawkish views," Yamada said.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen speaks on Tuesday and New York Fed President William Dudley speaks on Thursday.

The dollar was up 0.2 percent at 113.375 yen after touching a 12-day high of 134.400. The U.S. currency had gained 1.4 percent versus its safe-haven Japanese peer last week, pulling away from a 17-month low of 110.67 plumbed mid-month.

The euro inched down 0.1 percent to $1.1160 following a loss of 0.9 percent last week.

The dollar index, which gained roughly 1.3 percent last week, touched 96.368, its highest since March 16.

The Australian dollar was steady at $0.7506 having lost 1.4 percent last week and knocked away from an eight-month high of $0.7681 as commodity prices slid sharply from their recent peaks. (Editing by Kim Coghill)

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