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Dollar hits new 20-month high, tops 85 yen

Published on Dec 26, 2012 8:39 AM
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Passersby are reflected on an electronic billboard displaying the Japanese Yen's exchange rate against the US dollar in a business district in Tokyo on Dec 19, 2012.  The US dollar rose past 85.00 yen in early Asian trade on Wednesday on expectations that the Bank of Japan (BoJ) would take more monetary easing steps under pressure from the incoming government. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (AFP) - The US dollar rose past 85.00 yen in early Asian trade on Wednesday on expectations that the Bank of Japan (BoJ) would take more monetary easing steps under pressure from the incoming government.

The greenback was at 85.10 yen shortly after 0000 GMT (8am Singapore time), the first time above 85.00 yen since April 2011 and up from 84.78 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade on Tuesday.

The Japanese currency has been declining as incoming prime minister Shinzo Abe, whose Liberal Democratic Party won a landslide national election last week, steps up pressure on the central bank to take bold easing steps.

The dollar is likely to trade in a 84.50-85.30 range, with activity subdued amid fewer market participants due to the year-end holiday season, said Osao Iizuka, head of FX trading at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.

 
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