The US dollar soared to its highest level against the Japanese yen in more than 12 years, on speculation an interest rate rise in the US will take place sooner than expected and more monetary easing will be announced by Japan’s central bank. The dollar touched 124.25, the highest level since 2002, before settling back to 124.1 in early trade on Thursday. “US GDP data for Q1 may well be revised down on Friday to show an outright fall, but timelier data are mostly signalling a rebound in the second quarter,” said a Capital Economics research report. “In any event, the Bank of Japan is likely to ease policy further too, keeping the yen weak.” The yuan, on the other hand, strengthened against the greenback after posting loses for four straight trading days, even after the People’s Bank of China set the benchmark midpoint rate at a stronger level of 6.1202 against the dollar. The onshore yuan gained 0.03 per cent to 6.1998 in the spot market, while the offshore yuan added 0.02 per cent to 6.2039 as of 11:30 am. The Hong Kong dollar strengthened 0.06 per cent, or 48 basis points, to 7.7537 against the greenback.