FOREX-Dollar off 3-week high vs yen after U.S. ends fiscal impasse

Reuters

* U.S. House and Senate pass bill to avert govt default

* Dollar/yen slips on sell-the-fact type of reaction

* Greenback pulls back from 3-week high vs yen

By Masayuki Kitano

SINGAPORE, Oct 17 (Reuters) - The dollar eased versus theyen on Thursday in a sell-the-fact type of reaction after theU.S. Congress approved an 11th-hour deal to end a fiscalstandoff and avoid a damaging default on government debt.

The dollar slipped 0.1 percent to 98.65 yen, havingpulled back from a three-week high of 99.01 yen set earlier inthe day.

The dollar lost momentum after rising initially inanticipation of an end to the fiscal impasse, and fell to its intraday lows versus the yen after the U.S. House ofRepresentatives approved a deal that had already been passed bythe Senate.

Hiroshi Maeba, head of FX trading Japan for UBS in Tokyo,said Japanese exporters and foreign players were spotted sellingthe dollar over the course of the day.

The outlook in coming weeks was for range trading in thedollar, Maeba said.

"There aren't any factors for the dollar to suddenly breakabove 100 yen," he added.

"Broadly speaking, the dollar could trade between 95 yen to100 yen toward the year-end. I think we could see a rise to 100yen, but that would require a fresh factor," he said, addingthat the market is likely to turn its focus now to the U.S.economy.

The deal approved by Congress offers only a temporary fixand does not resolve the fundamental issues of spending anddeficits that divide Republicans and Democrats. It funds thegovernment until Jan. 15 and raises the debt ceiling until Feb.7, so Americans face the possibility of another governmentshutdown early next year.

U.S. President Barack Obama vowed to sign the bill and beginreopening the government "immediately."

The dollar index, which measures the greenback's valueagainst a basket of currencies, slipped 0.1 percent to 80.367, pulling away from a one-month high of 80.754 that hadbeen sent on Wednesday.

Satoshi Okagawa, senior global markets analyst for SumitomoMitsui Banking Corporation in Singapore, was also sceptical thatthe greenback was poised to see a sharp rally against the yen atthis stage.

"I don't get the sense that the dollar will head for a rallyabove 100 yen and keep heading sharply higher from there," hesaid.

In the wake of the U.S. fiscal impasse and governmentshutdown, it may take a while before dollar-buying backed by anupbeat view on the U.S. economy takes hold, Okagawa added.

The recent U.S. debt crisis has taken talk of the Fed'stapering its stimulus off the table for now, as the governmentshutdown since the start of this month has hurt consumersentiment.

The euro edged up 0.1 percent to about $1.3548, staying above a two-week low of $1.3472 hit onWednesday.

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