Dollar gives up US GDP data gains in Asia

TOKYO, Japan – The dollar lost more ground in thin Asian trade Thursday, December 25, after a rally powered by decade-high US economic growth figures.

In Tokyo afternoon trade, the US unit bought 120.14 yen ($0.99*), weakening from 120.44 yen ($1.00) in New York, although the greenback was still up from the 119-yen ($0.99) level earlier this week.

"With a lack of fresh cues, the dollar will continue to lack the momentum to test its upside," Mizuho Securities FX strategist Kenji Yoshii told Dow Jones Newswires.

The greenback got a boost on Tuesday, December 22, as the US Commerce Department raised its estimate for third-quarter growth from 3.9% to 5.0%, the best since 2003.

The news fuelled hopes the US Federal Reserve will start to raise interest rates from current record lows faster than other major central banks, which is a plus for the dollar.

The euro changed hands at $1.2216 and 146.78 yen ($1.22) against $1.2202 and 146.97 yen ($1.22) in US trade.

The dollar was mixed against other Asia-Pacific currencies. 

It slipped to 12,468.80 Indonesian rupiah from 12,471.00 rupiah on Wednesday, to Sg$1.3213 from Sg$1.3238, to Tw$31.72 from Tw$31.83, to 1,102.50 South Korean won from 1,102.92 won and to 32.87 Thai baht from 32.90 baht.

The greenback rose to 63.52 Indian rupees from 63.41 rupees and to 44.70 Philippine pesos from 44.67 pesos.

The Australian dollar bought 81.23 US cents against 81.11 cents, while the Chinese yuan was at 19.37 yen, up from 19.32 yen. –