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FOREX-Dollar treads water as investors await Yellen testimony
February 14, 2017 / 12:45 AM / 8 months ago

FOREX-Dollar treads water as investors await Yellen testimony

* DXY probes 3-week highs ahead of Yellen’s testimony to Congress

* Dollar pulls off lows vs yen after Trump-Abe meeting

* French election concerns continue to plague euro

TOKYO, Feb 14 (Reuters) - The dollar was trading near a three-week high against a basket of currencies on Tuesday, as investors awaited congressional testimony by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen for clues to the pace of the central bank’s interest rate increases.

The dollar index was nearly flat on the day at 100.94 , not far from Monday’s high of 101.11, which was its loftiest peak since Jan. 20.

Against its Japanese counterpart, the dollar was slightly lower on the day at 113.69 yen, below Monday’s high of 114.17 but well above a 10-week low of 111.59 yen touched a week ago.

Yellen will present the U.S. central bank’s semi-annual report on monetary policy and the economy in testimony to the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, followed by a the semi-annual monetary testimony before the House Financial Committee on Wednesday.

“People are just waiting for Yellen’s testimony, and depending on what she says, the dollar could test the upside again,” said Kaneo Ogino, director at foreign exchange research firm Global-info Co in Tokyo.

“But a few Japanese exporters are selling dollars at the moment, disappointed that it didn’t go even higher after the weekend meeting” of U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who apparently did not discuss currency policy or trade protectionism, Ogino said.

Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan, a voter this year on the Fed’s policy-setting panel, said on Monday in remarks prepared for posting to the Dallas Fed website that the U.S. central bank should act soon to raise rates or risk having to abandon its plan to do so slowly.

Interest rates futures showed investors pricing in just a 21 percent chance the Fed will increase rates at its meeting next month, according to CME Group’s FedWatch program.

The dollar also got a lift from Trump’s promise last week of a “phenomenal” tax plan that the White House said would include tax cuts for businesses and individuals.

The euro, which has come under pressure in recent sessions as France’s election campaign has heated up, was steady at $1.0602. A break of Jan. 19’s low of $1.0589 would take it to its lowest since Jan. 11.

French presidential frontrunner Emmanuel Macron is being targeted by Russian media and internet attacks from within Russia with the goal of helping the election campaigns of his pro-Moscow rivals, his party chief said on Monday.

Ferrand, who said Moscow looked favourably on the policies of far-right leader Marine Le Pen and centre-right candidate Francois Fillon, urged the government to take steps to ensure there was no “foreign meddling” in the election. (Reporting by Tokyo markets team; Editing by Eric Meijer)

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