* Dollar edges higher vs yen as risk sentiment improves
* Euro holds firm, matches Tuesday's 5-1/2 month high
* Aussie slips after underwhelming inflation data
By Masayuki Kitano
SINGAPORE, April 26 The dollar edged higher
against the yen on Wednesday, while the euro held firm near a
5-1/2 month high due to receding concerns about the risks posed
by the French presidential election.
The dollar rose 0.3 percent to 111.38 yen, pulling
further away from a five-month low of 108.13 yen set on April
Improving risk sentiment on reduced concerns over the French
presidential elections helped weigh on the yen.
In a sign of the global bullish sentiment, the Nasdaq
Composite hit a record high on Tuesday, while the Dow Jones
Industrial Average and S&P 500 brushed against recent peaks,
bolstered by strong corporate earnings.
Still, it remains to be see whether the dollar will see a
sustained push higher against the yen, said Teppei Ino, analyst
for Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in Singapore.
"It's too early to say that the dollar will keep trending
higher and head above the peak it saw in March," Ino said,
referring to the dollar's March 10 high of 115.51 yen.
The focus will be on forthcoming U.S. economic data,
especially after a softening in some recent indicators, he
The Trump administration's plans for tax reforms are another
focal point for markets.
U.S. officials said late on Tuesday that President Donald
Trump is proposing to slash the corporate income tax rate and
offer multinational businesses a steep tax break on overseas
profits brought into the United States.
Analysts said, however, that there was still uncertainty
over just how quickly such fiscal policies would be implemented.
"Just presenting the plan doesn't mean the plan is going to
be passed," said Mitul Kotecha, head of Asia macro strategy for
"The reality is any tax changes or tax reforms or tax cuts,
may not take place for some time, and Congress at this point is
far from being agreed on what shape or form they are going to
take," he added.
The euro edged up 0.2 percent to $1.0945. It touched
a high of $1.0950, matching a 5-1/2 month high that was struck
on Tuesday as the market digested centrist candidate Emmanuel
Macron's victory in the first round of France's presidential
election on Sunday.
In addition, three sources close to the European central
Bank's Governing Council told Reuters that with the fading of
the threat of a run-off between two eurosceptic candidates in
France, and with the economy on its best run in years, many rate
setters see scope for sending a small signal in June towards
reducing monetary stimulus.
The Australian dollar was last down 0.2 percent at $0.7524
, after underwhelming Australian inflation figures
supported expectations of a benign interest rate outlook for
months to come.
(Reporting by Masayuki Kitano; Additional reporting by Cecile
Lefort in Sydney; Editing by Sam Holmes & Simon Cameron-Moore)