Wednesday September 24, 2014 - 00:48:05 GMT
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Reuters - www.reuters.com
FOREX-Dollar index underpinned by safety-bid after U.S. strikes
* Yen rises after Abe reportedly frets about weak yen impact
* Euro bolstered by bright spot of German data
By Lisa Twaronite
TOKYO, Sept 24 (Reuters) - The dollar held close to a four-year peak against a basket of major currencies on Wednesday, underpinned by safe-haven buying as U.S. and Arab warplanes struck targets in Syria.
The dollar dipped against the yen, a traditional safe-haven buy. The Japanese unit also got a boost from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who said that he wanted to be careful about the impact of the weakening yen on local economies, according to a Jiji news report.
President Barack Obama on Tuesday said more air strikes would be carried out against extremists in Syria after separate bombing missions on Islamic State militants and on an al Qaeda affiliate that U.S. intelligence said was poised to attack America or Europe.
Against the yen, the dollar slipped 0.3 percent to 108.56 yen, after dropping to a session low of 108.46 yen following Abe's reported remarks.
The dollar index was slightly higher at 84.671, in sight of Monday's high of 84.861, which was its loftiest level since July 2010.
The index has risen for 10 straight weeks on speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve will hike interest rates sooner rather than later, diverging from monetary policy in Europe and Japan.
Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota kept dollar bulls in check on Tuesday, saying that the central bank can maintain its stimulus because U.S. inflation is posing little threat.
"A lot of hedge funds were taking profits after the dollar's recent rise," said Kaneo Ogino, director at Global-info Co in Tokyo, a foreign exchange research firm.
"But other investors see an opportunity to buy the dollar on dips," he said.
The recently beleaguered euro got a lift from German composite PMI on Tuesday, which rose to 54.0 from 53.7 in August. The corresponding survey for the euro zone, however, showed business activity expanding at a slightly weaker pace than expected.
The euro edged up about 0.1 percent to $1.2852, holding above Monday's 14-month low of $1.2816.
The ECB surprised markets earlier this month by cutting its benchmark lending and deposit rates and saying it would buy asset-backed securities and covered bonds. (Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
© Thomson Reuters 2014. All rights reserved.
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