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FOREX-Dollar holds firm ahead of U.S. durable goods, housing data

(Adds yuan fixing, intervention details; updates prices)

By Rocky Swift

TOKYO, June 27 (Reuters) – The U.S. dollar held its ground against major currencies on Tuesday as tension in Russia simmered and traders looked ahead to U.S. data that may determine the timing of further interest rate hikes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday he let an aborted mutiny go on as long as it did to avoid bloodshed, a crisis that pushed the greenback to a 15-month high against the rouble.

The dollar index fell 0.13% to 102.600, paring a 0.46% gain on Monday.

The rouble weakened 0.30% versus the greenback to 84.65 per dollar after hitting its weakest level since March 2022 in the previous session.

The dollar was softer against the yen after Vice Finance Minister for International Affairs Masato Kanda said Japan was not ruling out any options in possible responses to excessive currency movement. Japan intervened to boost the yen last year when it weakened passed the 145 per dollar level.

The yen strengthened 0.01% versus the greenback at 143.49 per dollar.

U.S. data this week include new orders for durable goods, housing figures, and consumer surveys from The Conference Board and University of Michigan.

Market participants expect the Federal Reserve to raise its funds target rate by 25 basis points in July, but the path beyond is less clear.

“We will have many U.S. indicators, which I think will be mixed, so there will be no strong momentum, at least today,” said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief currency strategist at Mizuho Securities.

“Two more rate hikes are not fully priced in the market. If the U.S. economic data comes out on the strong side, then further pricing in for the two rate hikes will push up the dollar,” Yamamoto said.

The euro was up 0.15% to $1.092 ahead of remarks by European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde at the ECB Forum on Central Banking in Sintra, Portugal.

Sterling was last trading at $1.2734, up 0.17% on the day.

In Asia, the dollar fell 0.37% against the offshore Chinese yuan to $7.2174 after hitting a 7-month high as investors braced for potentially more support measures as China returned from a holiday on Monday.

China’s central bank set its daily yuan fixing stronger than market expectations for a second day in a row on Tuesday, and sources said state-owned banks had been selling dollars in the offshore spot foreign exchange market, bolstering speculation authorities were becoming less tolerant of yuan weakness.

(Reporting by Rocky Swift; Editing by Christopher Cushing)


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