- The dollar held steady against major currencies in early Asia on Friday with the Japanese yen flat and the Australian dollar slightly stronger.

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda is due to deliver a brief speech at an annual meeting of credit unions in Tokyo, starting at 1536 local time (0636 GMT).

The day ahead is otherwise light on data in the region. USD/JPY traded at 101.93, down 0.01%, while AUD/USD held at 0.9401, up 0.03%.

Overnight, the dollar traded largely lower against most major currencies after the Federal Reserve''s Wednesday policy statement left investors concluding that interest rates will remain low for the foreseeable future, while the insurgency in Iraq also softened the greenback.

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday left benchmark interest rates unchanged at 0.00-0.25% and cut its monthly bond-buying program to $35 billion from $45 billion in a widely expected move.

Still, the dollar weakened after the Fed didn''t suggest how much time will elapse after its monthly stimulus program ends and when interest-rate hikes begin, with investors concluding that the Fed will take its time to tighten policy.

Geopolitical concerns weakened the greenback as well.

Fighting between Iraqi security forces and Sunni insurgents continued on Thursday, while U.S. President Barack Obama said he stood ready to take "targeted and precise" action to control the violence, while reports that Iran is also ready to battle the insurgency sparked fears of a civil war.

Elsewhere, U.S. data beat expectations, which cushioned the greenback''s losses.

In a report, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said that its manufacturing index rose to an eight-month high of 17.8 in June from 15.4 in May. Analysts had expected the index to dip to 14.0 in June.

The data came after the U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending June 14 declined by 6,000 to 312,000 from the previous week’s revised total of 318,000. Analysts had expected jobless claims to fall by 4,000 to 314,000 last week.

The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.01% at 80.39.

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