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US dollar up against yen as Abe sworn in

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NEW YORK, Dec 26 AFP

December 27 2012, 11:18AM

The US dollar has risen against the yen as Shinzo Abe was sworn in as prime minister amid expectations the Bank of Japan would initiate more monetary easing steps under his leadership.

The US dollar stood at 85.60 yen around 0900 AEDT compared to 84.83 yen late on Monday.

In early Asian trading hours earlier, the greenback soared past 85.00 yen for the first time since April 2011.

"USD/JPY soared today after Shinzo Abe was officially elected Prime Minister of Japan," according to BK Asset Management.

"Right out of the gate, he made it clear that fighting deflation is their number 1 priority."

The Japanese currency has been on the slide as Abe - whose Liberal Democratic Party recently won a landslide election victory - steps up pressure on the central bank to take bold easing steps.

Abe swept to power on a hawkish platform of getting tough on diplomacy while fixing the economy with active fiscal spending and monetary easing.

The euro was also up against the yen, reaching 113.19 yen around 0900 AEDT up from 111.87 yen on Christmas Eve.

The common European currency gained against the US dollar, standing at $1.3223 late on Wednesday compared to $1.3183 late on Monday.

In other currencies, the US dollar slipped to 0.9133 Swiss francs, while the pound rose to $1.6134.