* Trump offers no fresh details on stimulus
* Fed comments spark March rate hike hopes
* Limited reaction to China surveys
By Hideyuki Sano and Yuzuha Oka
TOKYO, March 1 The dollar spurted higher in
Asian trade on Wednesday as Federal Reserve policy-setters
fanned expectations of a rate hike this month, overshadowing a
key speech by U.S. President Donald Trump that offered little
details on his stimulus.
The greenback traded at 113.16 yen, up 0.35 percent
from late U.S. levels, while the euro dropped 0.1 percent
against the dollar to $1.0565.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a
basket of six major peers was last up 0.1 percent at
In a long-awaited speech to the Congress, Trump opened the
door to a broad overhaul of the U.S. immigration system and
vowed to pursue massive tax relief for the middle class but
stopped short of giving any details.
"There was no mention of the size and the schedule of his
tax cuts and spending. He just repeated what he had said," said
Daisuke Uno, chief strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Bank.
"So the dollar would have been sold on disappointment but in
reality a barrage of comments from the Fed this morning
overwhelmed that," he added.
Earlier, the U.S currency had risen after a handful of
Federal Reserve policymakers boosted expectations for a March
interest rate increase.
New York Fed President William Dudley, among the most
influential U.S. central bankers, said that the case for
tightening monetary policy "has become a lot more compelling".
John Williams, President of the San Francisco Fed, said that
a rate increase was very much on the table for serious
consideration at the March meeting given full employment and
Money market futures were now pricing in about
a 70 percent chance of a rate hike in March, compared to about a
30 percent or less at the start of the week.
U.S. economic data released on Tuesday showed a moderate
growth path, as the U.S. economy expanded at a slower pace in
the fourth quarter, in line with last month's estimate.
The Australian dollar showed muted response to a private
survey showing China's factory activity expanding at a faster
pace than expected in February.
The Aussie traded at $0.7666, up 0.2 percent on the
The Mexican peso, seen as the most vulnerable to Trump's
protectionist policies and harsh rhetoric, also took his speech
in stride. The peso was little changed at 20.097 per dollar
Some analysts said Trump's speech, while lacking details on
economic policies, did seem positive after a turbulent month in
"Today was a 'good Trump', compared to the aggressive 'bad
Trump' shown on Twitter," said Ayako Sera, market strategist at
Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.
"He did not attack the media and addressed education. Even
his tie was navy, not a furious red."
(Reporting by Yuzuha Oka; Editing by Richard Pullin and Randy