FOREX-Dollar firms as investors keep eagle eye on Fed guidance

    * Dollar firm after three days of gains ahead of Fed
    * Markets expect Fed may lift 2023 rates projections
    * Euro may be hampered by delay in vaccine rollouts
    * Graphic: World FX rates

 (Adds comments; updates prices)
    By Hideyuki Sano and Sagarika Jaisinghani
    TOKYO, March 17 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar held gains
against major currencies on Wednesday as investors looked to the
U.S. Federal Reserve's policy meeting for indications it could
start rate hikes earlier or let bond yields rise further.
    Against the yen, the greenback firmed 0.1% to 109.085 yen
, hovering near nine-month highs hit this week. The euro
 was flat versus the dollar after declining in the past
three sessions.
    With Fed policymakers expected to forecast the fastest U.S.
economic growth in decades in the wake of COVID-19 vaccinations
and $1.9 trillion in new stimulus, market participants will be
focused on cues that the central bank could start raising
interest rates in 2023, earlier than it had said.
    "It is likely that the FOMC's economic forecasts will
acknowledge the improved growth picture this year, but will
continue to show a long road toward conditions consistent with
maximum employment that would put sustained pressure on
inflation," Morgan Stanley strategist Matthew Hornbach said.
    "The Fed being more dovish than expected would suggest U.S.
yields and the dollar moving lower in the near term,
particularly against risk currencies, but we continue to
see upside risks for USD into 2Q."
    The dollar index stood at 91.908, having risen for
three straight sessions on support mainly from elevated U.S.
bond yields.
    The euro changed hands at $1.1902, but the common currency
could test last week's 3 1/2-month low of $1.18355 on a possible
delay in vaccinations.
    Europe's medicines watchdog will release results of its
investigation into incidents of bleeding, blood clots and low
platelet counts in recipients of AstraZeneca's
coronavirus vaccine on Thursday afternoon.
    "Depending on the outcome, it could hurt the euro zone's
business sentiment further and the euro could face fresh selling
pressure on the low vaccination theme," said Daisuke Uno, chief
strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Bank.
    The British pound was down about 0.1% at $1.3886 in
Asian trading on Wednesday. The currency has come under pressure
from profit-taking after it hit a near three-year high last
month on the back of a fast vaccine roll-out.
    Commodity-linked currencies including the Australian dollar
, the New Zealand dollar and the Canadian dollar
 eased slightly against the U.S. dollar, tracking weakness
in commodity prices.
    In the cryptocurrency market, bitcoin fell 2.2%
to $55,665.45, slipping further away from a record high of
$61,781.83 hit on Saturday.
    Currency bid prices at 410 GMT
 Description       RIC        Last              U.S. Close                        Pct Change             YTD Pct                   High Bid                 Low Bid
                                                 Previous                                                 Change                                            
                                                 Session Euro/Dollar                  $1.1901           $1.1903                           -0.01%                 -2.59%                    +1.1906                  +1.1893
 Dollar/Yen                   109.0800          109.0200                          +0.12%                 +5.67%                    +109.1650                +109.1400
 Euro/Yen                     129.82            129.75                            +0.05%                 +2.28%                    +129.9000                +129.7200
 Dollar/Swiss                 0.9257            0.9248                            +0.10%                 +4.64%                    +0.9263                  +0.9248
 Sterling/Dollar              1.3888            1.3895                            -0.04%                 +1.66%                    +1.3904                  +1.3881
 Dollar/Canadian              1.2455            1.2448                            +0.06%                 -2.19%                    +1.2458                  +1.2434
 Aussie/Dollar                0.7732            0.7746                            -0.15%                 +0.53%                    +0.7747                  +0.7724
 NZ Dollar/Dollar             0.7182            0.7190                            -0.07%                 +0.06%                    +0.7194                  +0.7177 All spots
Tokyo spots
Europe spots 
Tokyo Forex market info from BOJ 

 (Reporting by Hideyuki Sano in Tokyo and Sagarika Jaisinghani
in Bengaluru; Editing by Sam Holmes and Gerry Doyle)