Dollar weakens in Asia on mixed US jobs data

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TOKYO: The dollar weakened in Asia on Monday after surging to seven-year highs last week, following a closely watched US jobs report dampened hopes for a sooner-than-expected US rate hike.

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In afternoon Tokyo trading, the greenback fetched 114.16 yen, down from 114.62 yen in New York and sharply lower than 115.39 yen in Tokyo earlier Friday.

The euro rose to $1.2477 against $1.2456 while it was weaker at 142.45 yen from 142.78 yen.

On Friday, the US Labor Department said the world’s number-one economy added 214,000 jobs last month.

While that figure was weaker than the forecast 235,000, the previous two months’ job gains were revised upward and the unemployment rate slipped to a six-year low.

Still, the fresh data did little to boost hopes that the US Federal Reserve would hike interest rates sooner than its mid-2015 timeline, which would support the dollar.

The euro has been under pressure since the head of the European Central Bank (ECB) said last week that he was prepared to unveil more
measures to kickstart the struggling eurozone economy.

On Monday, sentiment took a hit as Chinese inflation came in unchanged at 1.6 percent in October, well off the government’s target of 3.5 percent and adding to fears about the strength of the world’s number two economy.

Weekend data also showed growth in Chinese exports and imports slowed last month.

Traders are eyeing US figures, including retail sales, and eurozone factory output figures this week.

“While US data are expected to come in decent, the eurozone will likely continue to display sluggish recovery, which would justify [a]dovish ECB stance,” Credit Agricole said.

The dollar weakened against other Asia-Pacific currencies.

It slipped to Sg$1.2884 from Sg$1.2966 on Friday, to Tw$30.56 from Tw$30.63, to 1,084.70 South Korean won from 1,093.30 won and to 32.74 Thai baht from 32.90 baht.

The dollar also fell to 61.48 Indian rupees from 61.54 rupees and to 12,149 Indonesian rupiah from 12,156 rupiah.
The Australian dollar bounced to 86.75 US cents from 85.54 cents while the Chinese yuan was weaker at 18.67 yen against 18.85 yen.      AFP

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