By Mayumi Negishi
The dollar was nearly unchanged against the yen and the euro in Asian trade on Friday. With U.S. markets closed for the Thanksgiving Day holiday, investors held fire amid thin trade and limited catalysts.
The dollar was at Y122.59 around 0450 GMT after briefly hitting Y122.72. That compared with Y122.65 late Thursday in New York. The euro also moved sideway, remaining at $1.0609, compared with $1.0621.
With the exception of the Turkish lira, flight to the safety of the dollar has largely subsided following the Turkish military's downing of a Russian fighter. Attention is now on the European Central Bank's policy meeting on Dec. 3, and the magnitude of potential easing steps, traders said. For the rest of the week, the Thanksgiving lull is likely to continue with U.S. markets closing early on Friday.
Investors have largely factored in a possible U.S. Federal Reserve decision to raise short-term rates in December, but are skeptical about further monetary tightening in the months ahead, traders said.
The yield on the U.S. two-year government debt shows markets are well-prepared for a possible interest rate increase, while International Monetary Market speculators continue to place bullish bets on the U.S. dollar, said FPG Securities Chief Executive Koji Fukaya. "The bets on the dollar are at record levels, and it's hard to imagine (the aggregate U.S. dollar position) rising even further" to meaningfully cross the Y123-to-the-dollar threshold before year-end, he said.
The euro was at Y130.05, compared with Y130.35 late Thursday night in New York.
The limited range of movement in the three currencies was in contrast to the lira's slide. The lira has been on decline against the dollar since last Friday, when Turkey warned Russia that attacks on Syrian Turkmen villages could lead to "serious consequences." After Russia announced plans to impose sanctions on Turkish economic interests, the lira was down 3.6% compared with the week earlier's 2.9298 lira to the dollar.
Interbank Foreign Exchange Rates At 23:50 EST / 0450 GMT
Latest Previous %Chg Daily Daily %Chg
2150 GMT High Low 12/31
USD/JPY Japan 122.59-60 122.56-57 +0.02 122.72 122.57 +2.40
EUR/USD Euro 1.0609-12 1.0609-12 0.00 1.0618 1.0602 -12.30
GBP/USD U.K. 1.5090-92 1.5100-02 -0.07 1.5107 1.5091 -3.13
USD/CHF Switzerland 1.0239-43 1.0235-39 +0.04 1.0245 1.0233 +3.00
USD/CAD Canada 1.3302-07 1.3292-97 +0.08 1.3309 1.3290 +14.48
AUD/USD Australia 0.7226-30 0.7225-29 +0.01 0.7234 0.7213 -11.54
NZD/USD New Zealand 0.6568-74 0.6569-75 -0.02 0.6580 0.6557 -15.70
EUR/JPY Japan 130.05-09 130.06-10 -0.01 130.16 130.01 -10.26
Source: ICAP PLC
Write to Mayumi Negishi at Mayumi.Negishi@wsj.com