TOKYO : The dollar held firm versus the yen in Asian trade Wednesday, clinging to recent gains after upbeat US data with analysts saying the greenback could climb higher.On Tuesday, the dollar jumped amid gains in US equity markets and more signs of a US economic recovery, rising as high as 102.40 yen to mark its highest level against the Japanese unit since October 2008.In Tokyo trade Wednesday, the dollar bought 102.19 yen, hardly changed from levels in New York later Tuesday but still well above the mid-101 yen range a day earlier in Tokyo.
The dollar could still test the 102.40 yen mark again in Wednesday trade, said Junichi Ishikawa, market analyst at IG Securities in Tokyo.
"There may be some resistance around the 102.50 level, where selling offers are lined up," he told Dow Jones Newswires.
In other forex trading, the euro was almost flat at $1.2934 while weakening to 132.18 yen from 132.29 yen in New York.
US retail sales edged up 0.1 percent in April from March, led by sales of building and garden supplies and clothing, Commerce Department data released Monday showed.
Markets were eyeing the release later Wednesday of January-March eurozone economic growth data as well as a string of US indicators later in the day.
National Australia Bank said European news on Tuesday was "less encouraging" with the German ZEW survey economic sentiment survey's May reading falling short of expectations.
"An upgrade to Greece's credit rating by Fitch to 'B-' from CCC has spared the euro damage," it added in a statement.
Fitch raised Greece's long-term credit rating by one notch to 'B-' on Tuesday, removing it from being at risk of default, citing progress in balancing the country's finances and improving its trade competitiveness.
The dollar was mostly higher against other Asia-Pacific currencies.
It rose to 29.71 Thai baht from 29.64 baht the previous day, to Tw$29.88 from Tw$29.82, to Sg$1.2429 from Sg$1.2388, to 9,751 Indonesian rupiah from 9,741 rupiah, to 1,113.76 South Korean won from 1,110.10 won.
The dollar eased to 54.67 Indian rupees from 54.78 rupees and to 41.13 Philippine pesos from 41.22 pesos.
The Australian dollar tumbled to 98.94 US cents from 99.71 cents after Treasurer Wayne Swan revealed an Aus$18 billion deficit for 2013/14 and no return to surplus until 2015-16.
The Chinese yuan firmed to 16.60 yen from 16.48 yen.