* Higher U.S. Treasury yields bolstered greenback
* Fed's Yellen, Fischer slated to speak later Friday
* Aussie licks wounds after overnight drop
TOKYO, March 3 The dollar was broadly steady on
Friday and remained on track for solid weekly gains on growing
expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve could raise interest rates
as early as at its meeting this month, triggering a rise in U.S.
The dollar index, which gauges the greenback against a
basket of six major currencies, was down 0.1 percent at 102.140
but was within sight of the previous session's high of
102.260, which was its loftiest peak since Jan. 11. For the
week, it was up more 1 percent.
Against the yen, the dollar inched slightly lower on the day
to 114.35, yet stayed near Thursday's peak of 114.595,
its highest since Feb. 15. It was up more than 2 percent for the
"There were some investors who weren't positioned for the
possibility of a rate increase this month, and the dollar is
benefiting as they adjust their expectations," said Mitsuo
Imaizumi, the Tokyo-based chief foreign-exchange strategist
Comments this week from New York Fed President William
Dudley as well as San Francisco Fed President John Williams
bouyed dollar bulls, and prompted more investors to increase
their bets on a rate increase as early as this month.
Fed funds futures on Thursday implied traders saw a 79.7
percent probability of a Fed rate hike at its March 14-15 policy
meeting, up from 66.4 percent on Wednesday, according to data
from CME Group's FedWatch program.
That helped push up yields on U.S. two-year notes,
which are considered most vulnerable to Fed rate hikes, to their
highest since August 2009.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen as well as Vice Chair Stanley Fischer
are slated to speak later on Friday, and could reinforce the
The euro edged up 0.1 percent to $1.0512, after
dipping as low as $1.0495 overnight, within a tick of its lowest
level since Jan. 11. It was down 0.5 percent for the week.
The Australian dollar licked its wounds, down slightly on
the day at $0.7570. It abruptly skidded as low as
$0.7552 overnight, its weakest since Feb. 1, as it came under
pressure from slumping oil prices and the broadly stronger U.S.
Sterling added 0.1 percent to $1.2280 after plumbing
a low of $1.2243 on Thursday, its deepest nadir since Jan. 17.
(Reporting by Tokyo markets team; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)