The dollar held firm against the euro in Tokyo Wednesday on US consumer confidence data suggesting a gentle slowing down in the world's biggest economy, a dealer said.
Against the dollar, the European single currency fetched $0.8482 around 2:00 pm (0500 GMT), down from $0.8489 in New York late Tuesday but up from $0.8408-11 in Tokyo late Tuesday.
"Investors bought the dollar as they took the US consumer confidence index as showing the economy was enjoying a soft landing," said Fuji Bank dealer Wako Ogawa.
The US consumer confidence index fell 7.3 percent in October as households fretted about slower economic growth and the prospect of rising oil prices, data showed Tuesday.
The figures came after data last Friday showing US economic momentum had slowed in the third quarter, when gross domestic product expanded at an annual rate of 2.7 percent after 5.6 percent in the second quarter.
But the euro was supported from further falls after Ernst Welteke, the Bundesbank chief and European Central Bank governing council member, said the ECB might intervene if necessary to prop up the currency.
"We're watching developments on the foreign-exchange markets very closely and will, if necessary, intervene again," Welteke told the German business weekly WirtschaftsWoche, in an edition to be published on Thursday.
Ogawa said: "Welteke's comments that he was ready for intervention helped euro-buying."
Against the yen, the euro traded at 92.32, down from 92.48 yen in New York but up from 91.50 in Tokyo Tuesday afternoon.
The dollar meanwhile bought 108.82-85 yen at 2:00 pm, down from 108.97 yen in New York but up from 108.79-82 yen in Tokyo late Tuesday.
"Investors are adjusting their positions as there is no particular lead to buy the yen," Ogawa said.— (AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)