- U.S. House seen voting on tax bill on Tuesday
- Senate could vote on bill on Tuesday or Wednesday
- Yen edges down slightly, though sticks to range
- Aussie firm, within sight of 6-week highs
By Lisa Twaronite
TOKYO, Dec 19 (Reuters) - The dollar remained mired in its recent ranges in subdued trade on Tuesday, as optimism that the U.S. tax reform bill would pass duelled with doubts about its ultimate effect on the economy.
The dollar index, which tracks the U.S. currency against a basket of six major rivals, was steady on the day at 93.673 .
"With liquidity this low, it's like throwing darts in the dark," said Bart Wakabayashi, branch manager for State Street Bank in Tokyo, to explain the relatively thin market activity.
"It's relatively early in the holiday season for these kinds of market conditions, but dollar demand is there," he said.
The Republican-controlled U.S. Congress appeared all but certain to pass sweeping tax legislation this week after two Senate Republican holdouts agreed on Monday to support a tax overhaul backed by President Donald Trump.
The House of Representatives, which is also expected to adopt the bill, was due to vote first at around 1:30 p.m. (1830 GMT) on Tuesday, Republican aides said. The Senate vote is expected to follow either later on Tuesday or on Wednesday.
Rising hopes of the bill's passage helped push U.S. stocks to record highs on Monday.
"We expect the bill to pass, as do many market participants, and it seems to make the equity investors happy," said Masashi Murata, currency strategist for Brown Brothers Harriman in Tokyo.
"This week and next week, with so many investors leaving for the holidays already, and last week's Fed meeting out of the way, we are expecting range-bound trade for a while," he added.