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TOKYO: The US dollar drifted weaker on Monday, pressured by lower Treasury yields, as traders waited for more crucial economic data for fresh clues on the timing of Federal Reserve interest rate cuts.

Bitcoin rose to a more than two-year peak amid big flows into cryptocurrency exchange-traded funds.

The euro was firm following Friday’s 0.33% advance, with a European Central Bank policy decision looming on Thursday.

The yen stuck near the closely watched 150 per dollar level, as investors tried to assess whether the Bank of Japan’s exit from its negative interest rate policy could happen as soon as this month.

The dollar index - which measures the currency against six major peers, including the euro and yen - eased 0.07% to 103.79 in early Asian trading, bringing it closer to the bottom of the 103.43-104.97 range of the past month.

The index lost 0.26% on Friday following some weak manufacturing and construction spending data.

That also weighed on Treasury yields, removing additional support for the dollar, with the benchmark 10-year yield sliding as low as 4.178% for the first time in two weeks. The yield stood around 4.19% on Monday.

“Bias appears to be swinging towards a test of range support,” in the lead up to key macro releases this week, as well as Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s annual testimony to Congress, Westpac strategists wrote in a client note.

“However, markets will need a major shift in data to suggest that range support will be anything other than another buying opportunity,” that will keep the dollar index within its current range, the note said.

Dollar steady as traders ponder Fed rate cut bets; yen shaky at 150/dlr

This week brings manufacturing and services ISM readings on Tuesday, with the main event on Friday in the form of monthly payrolls figures.

Meanwhile, the dollar declined 0.09% to 149.99 yen, as traders assessed cautious comments from BOJ Governor Kazuo Ueda from late last week that it was too early to conclude that the central bank’s inflation target is close to being met.

That contrasted with hawkish remarks from BOJ board member Hajime Takata earlier the same day, that had sent the yen to a more than two-week high of 149.21 per dollar.

Markets are weighing whether the BOJ will end its negative interest policy at its March 18-19 meeting, or wait until April or later.

Elsewhere, the euro was little changed at $1.08425, sitting near the top of its recent range.

Most economists expect the ECB will first cut rates at its June meeting, but will be hoping for additional clues on the timing from central bank head Christine Lagarde’s press conference.

Bitcoin was last trading about 1.5% higher from Sunday at $63,500, after earlier reaching $64,284.75, the firmest since November of 2021, the same month it marked its record high of $68,999.99.

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