The dollar traded flat against the euro Wednesday after a slight push higher mid-session, as talks continued in Washington on averting the economy-crunching fiscal cliff.
At 2200 GMT, the euro bought $1.2939, a hair off the level at the same time Tuesday.
Just hours earlier, the euro fell to $1.2881 before rebounding, the swings apparently related to perceptions over whether the fiscal cliff talks were going well, analysts said.
President Barack Obama suggested key issues were still unresolved with a challenge to Republicans to compromise, deflating the impact of more optimistic remarks earlier by Republican House Speaker John Boehner on progress.
"Our ultimate goal is an agreement that gets our long-term deficit under control in a way that is fair and balanced," Obama said.
"I believe that both parties can agree on a framework that does that in the coming weeks," he said. "In fact, my hope is to get this done before Christmas."
Forex expert Neal Gilbert of GFT was skeptical even of that deadline.
"If no more positive comments are made by the Republican side tomorrow, then we can likely chalk this up to political gamesmanship and resume our regularly scheduled acceleration toward the edge of the fiscal cliff," Gilbert said.
The yen edged higher, with the looming election in Japan limiting any gains as long as the opposition Liberal Democratic Party continues to lead in the polls.
LDP leader Shinzo Abe has vowed to pressure the Bank of Japan into more aggressive monetary easing if his party wins.
The dollar bought 82.03 yen, compared to 82.16 on Tuesday, while the euro was at 106.14 yen, from 106.30.
The dollar was flat against the Swiss franc, trading at 0.9300 francs, and the British pound was also barely changed at $1.6013.