* France's Fillon wins party backing for presidential
* Investors still await details of Trump's policies
By Yuzuha Oka
TOKYO, March 7 The dollar held onto gains on
Tuesday, lifted by the Federal Reserve's near-certain March rate
increase, while political uncertainties over the French
presidential election weighed on the euro.
The dollar edged up against a basket of six major peers to
101.68, after retreating to a one-week low of 101.22 on
The dollar was supported by expectations the Fed was almost
certain to raise interest rates at its meeting next week. Fed
Chair Janet Yellen said on Friday raising interest rates this
month would be appropriate, if jobs and inflation data hold up.
However, some analysts say the dollar would not see a
further rally unless U.S. President Donald Trump announces
detailed economic policies.
"The dollar is not likely to gain further against the yen,
with an expected range around 111 to 115 yen during March," said
Masashi Murata, senior currency strategist at Brown Brothers
"Investors are seeing difficulty for Trump to immediately
legislate tax cuts and infrastructure spending. But they can't
sell either because the March rate hike is highly likely," added
The euro last stood at $1.0579, dropping from a
two-week high of $1.064 touched on Monday.
Scandal-hit Francois Fillon won his party's backing on
Monday, hours after a former French prime minister Alain Juppe
ruled out his election bid.
A poll on Friday had shown that if Juppe replaced Fillon as
the center-right candidate, he would likely win the election's
first round, with centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron coming
second - a scenario that would knock far-right leader Marine Le
Pen out of the race.
Party leaders swung behind Fillon despite allegations that
he had misused public funds. Challengers failed to convince him
to step down voluntarily and could not agree on an alternative
The dollar edged up 0.1 percent against the yen to 113.94
yen after falling to a one-week low of 113.53 yen on
Monday as geopolitical uncertainties prompted investors to buy
the perceived safe-haven Japanese currency.
News that North Korea had fired four ballistic missiles, as
well as Trump's unverified claims that his predecessor, Barack
Obama, had wiretapped his correspondence from Trump Tower,
spurred yen-buying on Monday.
(Editing by Jacqueline Wong)