* Dollar moves away from last week's 14-year highs
* 'Hard Brexit' fears add to investors' risk aversion
* Investors await Trump's news conference on Wednesday
TOKYO, Jan 10 Sterling steadied somewhat in
Asian trade on Tuesday after weekend comments from British Prime
Minister Theresa May sent it skidding to 2-1/2-month lows, while
the dollar wallowed well below recent highs as the perceived
safe-haven yen gained.
The pound edged up 0.1 percent to $1.2162, after
sinking as low as $1.2125 on Monday, its weakest since Oct. 28,
following May's statement that she was not interested in keeping
"bits of membership" of the European Union.
Her comments heightened fears about the impact of the UK's
exit from the European Union, as she said border controls would
be prioritised over market access.
"Fears of a 'hard Brexit' have increased, and this has made
investors more risk-averse," said Kumiko Ishikawa, FX market
analyst at Sony Financial Holdings.
That risk averse mood prompted market participants to lock
in profits on the dollar's gains and use it as an excuse to pare
some of their long positions in the U.S. currency. It also
benefited the perceived safe-haven yen.
The dollar was 0.3 percent lower against a basket of six
major peers, at 101.60, pulling further away from last
week's high of 103.82, which was its highest level since 2002.
It skidded 0.6 percent to 115.365 yen, well below its
overnight high of 117.53, though off an earlier session low of
115.20 yen as Tokyo traders returned to their desks after
markets here were closed for a public holiday on Monday.
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, who takes office on Jan.
20, is scheduled to hold his first news conference on Wednesday
since winning the November election.
"Some Japanese customers are buying on dips with the dollar
at the 115 level, but with Trump's speech ahead, some people are
taking profits and adjusting their positions," said Kaneo Ogino,
director at foreign exchange research firm Global-info Co in
"Overall, everyone will just jump on the bandwagon today,
after the long weekend," he said.
The euro gained 0.4 percent to $1.0617, moving away
from last week's 14-year low of $1.0340.
Expectations of higher U.S. interest rates underpinned the
greenback. Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren on
Monday called on the U.S. central bank to step up its pace of
interest-rate increases from the once-a-year pattern it has
pursued since 2015, warning of inflation risks if it does not.
At a separate event, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart
said it was too early to judge how the incoming Trump
administration, which has spoken of implementing fiscal
stimulus, may change the path of the economy.
At its last meeting the Fed raised rates and indicated the
tempo of increases may accelerate after Trump's election
promised a major spending plan and tax reform. Several
policymakers have since said rates may have to rise faster
during the Trump administration in order to check inflation.
(Reporting by Tokyo markets team; Editing by Eric Meijer & Shri