Dollar hovers near 100 yen in Asian trade

The dollar was lingering just below the 100 yen level in Asian trade on Thursday as the Japanese unit resisted further losses following last week's huge stimulus from the Bank of Japan.

The dollar was quoted at 99.56 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade against 99.76 yen in New York Wednesday afternoon. The euro slipped to 130.07 yen against 130.26 yen while edging down to $1.3061 from $1.3068.

The greenback temporarily climbed to 99.87 yen in early trade but fell back by mid-afternoon, dealers said.

The market may need a bit more time to push the dollar up above the 100-yen mark as there are still some sell orders below that level, said a senior dealer at a major bank in Tokyo.

"London names have been selling dollars this morning... It'll be less likely to happen during Asian hours, though we may be able to test it again in London or New York trade," he told Dow Jones Newswires.

Market players expect the dollar to hit 100.00 yen soon following the Bank of Japan's sweeping monetary easing last week. The dollar last topped 100 yen in April 2009.

With the euro having already breached the 130 mark, the dollar may also gather enough momentum to hit 100 yen Thursday, said Kenichi Hirano, operating officer at Tachibana Securities.

The dollar rose slightly Wednesday after minutes of the most recent Federal Reserve policy meeting showed a slight increase in board members' desire to reel in the huge bond purchase programme this year.

The upside was limited in part because the minutes represented sentiment in mid-March, before dismal job creation numbers quelled rising optimism about the US economy.

A tightening of monetary policy would send interest rates higher, and draw more demand for the dollar.

"Many participants... expressed the view that continued solid improvement in the outlook for the labour market could prompt the committee to slow the pace of purchases beginning at some point over the next several meetings," the minutes said.

The dollar was mixed against most other Asia-Pacific currencies.

It fell to 40.97 Philippine pesos from 41.13 pesos on Wednesday, to Tw$29.93 from Tw$29.99 and to 9,686 Indonesian rupiah from 9,700 rupiah.

It also declined to 1,129.93 South Korean won from 1,138.54 won but rose to Sg$1.2379 from Sg$1.2378, to 54.52 Indian rupees from 54.46 rupees and to 29.00 Thai baht from 28.99 baht.

The Australian dollar rose to $1.0513 from $1.0504 while the Chinese yuan edged down to 16.00 yen from 16.06 yen.