TOKYO (APP) – The dollar edged down Wednesday ahead of the release of minutes from the US Federal Reserve’s most recent meeting, which investors hope will offer fresh clues about the timing for an interest rate hike.
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In Tokyo, the greenback traded at 124.25 yen, slipping from 124.38 yen in New York late Tuesday.
The euro edged up to $1.1045 and 137.22 yen from $1.1029 and 137.19 yen in US trade.
Investors were eyeing the release of the Fed minutes, due later Wednesday, to see if they back up growing expectations of a rate hike as early as next month.
The dollar will likely get a boost if the minutes suggest a rate rise is around the corner.
“The minutes are likely to suggest what traders have known from the actual meeting itself,” Vyanne Lai, an economist at National Australia Bank, told Bloomberg News.
“There aren’t too many impediments in the near term to prevent the lift-off of US rates.” The Thai baht was slightly stronger at 35.56 against the dollar, a day after slumping to a fresh six-year low of 35.64 in the wake of a deadly Bangkok bombing that killed 20 people and wounded more than 120.
The bombing at a shrine popular with foreign visitors threatened to damage Thailand’s crucial tourism industry.
The bombing came hours after official data on Monday showed Thailand’s economy slowed in the second quarter, hit by weak domestic demand and exports, with growth expected to be hampered this year by China’s devaluation of the yuan.
The move has sparked fears of a currency war in which countries compete to boost exports by devaluing their units.
Following the yuan cut, Vietnam on Wednesday said it had devalued its dong currency by 1.0 percent, setting its reference rate at 21,890 dong per dollar. It also widened the trading band to 3.0 percent on either side of that rate.