17 October 2001, 16:53  Dollar firm in U.S. trading, mkt awaits Greenspan

1240 GMT - Dollar pushes higher against all major currencies in early U.S. trading, underpinned by expections of a positive opening in stock markets. Markets await direction from Congressional testimony of Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, due to begin at 10 a.m. (1400 GMT).
- Market seemingly heartened by mix of Fed's aggressive rate cuts and pending economic stimulus measures coming from Washington, keeping dollar supported across the board despite U.S.-led strikes in Afghanistan and several anthrax contamination scares in U.S.
- Euro/dollar inches off lows, changes hands around 90.30 cents, still more than half a percent lower on the day .
- Dollar/yen slips after testing levels near Tuesday's 1-month highs, trades near 121.30 yen and flat from prior U.S. close. Dealers say currency pair being dragged lower by increased selling of euro/yen , which trades around 109.50 yen, down more than half a percent on the day.
- Dollar/Swiss trades around 1.6434 francs , closes in on 1-month highs above 1.6522. Up half a percent from previous U.S. close.
- Market shows negligible react to September U.S. housing starts data, which rose 1.7 percent to 1.574 million units, from August's steep 6.7 percent plunge.

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