By Hiroyuki Kachi

The dollar was moderately higher against the yen in rangebound Asian trade on Wednesday, with investors largely taking a wait-and-see approach ahead of Donald Trump's scheduled press conference later in the U.S. day.

Around 0500 GMT, the U.S. dollar was changing hands at 116.08 yen, compared with Y115.77 late Tuesday in New York. The euro fell slightly to $1.0550 from $1.0553 late Tuesday.

The WSJ Dollar Index, a measure of the U.S. dollar against a basket of major currencies, was up 0.07% at 92.78.

Currency-market watchers were reluctant to take strong positions, as they await comments from U.S. President-elect Trump later Wednesday in his first press conference since the election win. The dollar has been gaining traction on bets that Mr. Trump's fiscal stimulus and tax cuts would stoke higher inflation in the U.S., prompting the Federal Reserve to signal a faster-than-expected pace of interest-rate increases.

Higher rates would boost the dollar by making U.S. assets more attractive to yield-seeking investors.

Mr. Trump's planned conference would come just days before his inauguration on Jan. 20.

"The situation remains unpredictable," said Daisaku Ueno, chief foreign-exchange strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley. Concerns remain that Mr. Trump may say something critical of the dollar's strength, Mr. Ueno said, but sentiment looks set to turn around if the conference turns out to be uneventful.

Nomura Securities chief forex strategist Yunosuke Ikeda said the dollar could go either way, noting there was only a small possibility "a U.S. president can have a significant, sustainable impact on the exchange rate." The Fed's rate policy and the U.S. economy are the main drivers behind the dollar's trend, he said.

In other currency trade, the euro was at Y122.45 from Y122.18 late Tuesday.

Interbank Foreign Exchange Rates At 23:50 EST / 0450 GMT

Latest Previous %Chg Daily Daily %Chg

Dollar Rates Close High Low 12/31

USD/JPY Japan 116.06-07 115.77-78 +0.25 116.24 115.68 -0.80

EUR/USD Euro 1.0548-51 1.0553-56 -0.05 1.0568 1.0537 +0.29

GBP/USD U.K. 1.2161-63 1.2176-78 -0.12 1.2198 1.2158 -1.48

USD/CHF Switzerland 1.0171-75 1.0167-71 +0.04 1.0183 1.0157 -0.16

USD/CAD Canada 1.3245-50 1.3230-35 +0.11 1.3256 1.3230 -1.44

AUD/USD Australia 0.7379-83 0.7367-71 +0.16 0.7383 0.7353 +2.49

NZD/USD New Zealand 0.6989-95 0.6986-92 +0.04 0.7002 0.6971 +0.97

Euro Rate

EUR/JPY Japan 122.42-46 122.17-21 +0.20 122.63 122.10 -0.54

Source: Tullett Prebon

Write to Hiroyuki Kachi at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 11, 2017 01:01 ET (06:01 GMT)

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