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Dollar little changed in Asia ahead of U.S. housing data

The dollar was flat in Asian trading Tuesday as the market awaited the release of U.S. housing data later in the day.

The dollar rose to 123.62 yen midafternoon, little changed from 123.61 yen late Monday in New York. The euro rose to US$1.3427 from US$1.3411.

Traders said stronger-than-expected U.S. housing starts data for May could boost the dollar slightly, although the rise is likely to be moderate. Traders are watching for signs that the U.S. economy is now rebounding despite a longer-than-expected slump in the housing market.

"It doesn't look like dollar-long positions have been piling up significantly, so the risk of a sudden plunge may not be very high," said Masanobu Ishikawa, senior manager at Tokyo Forex and Ueda Harlow.

The outlook for interest rates also is guiding traders. But even if the Bank of Japan raised interest rates, now at 0.5 percent, to 0.75 percent in coming months, that would still be quite a bit lower than U.S. or European rates, and unlikely to have much influence on currencies, he said.

The dollar was mixed against other regional currencies, slipping to 927.8 South Korean won from 928.4 the previous day, while climbing to 40.720 Indian rupee from 40.54. It declined to 33.146 Taiwan dollar from 33.175.

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