Dollar holds firm in Asia after US jobs data rally

GMT 11:16 2015 Monday ,09 March

Arab Today, arab today Dollar holds firm in Asia after US jobs data rally

the dollar
Tokyo - AFP

The dollar held up Monday after soaring on an upbeat US jobs report that boosted expectations for an early interest rate hike, while it sat at near 12-year highs against the euro as the European Central Bank prepares to launch a massive stimulus programme.
In Tokyo, the greenback bought 121.04 yen, up from 120.78 yen on Friday in New York, while the euro bought $1.0840 compared with $1.0842. The euro firmed to 131.24 yen against 130.95 yen.
The dollar also jumped against some emerging market currencies, hitting a 17-year high against the Indonesian rupiah.
"We could see the dollar continue to trend upward, especially if US data continues to be strong," Kate Warne, an investment strategist at Edward D. Jones, told Bloomberg News.
"Companies are feeling more comfortable adding to their workforce," she added.
The US Labor Department said Friday that the world's biggest economy created 295,000 new jobs in February despite some severe weather and mounting layoffs in the oil industry.
The better-than-expected figure came as the unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent, its lowest since May 2008.
Analysts said the figures, the latest in a slew of strong US indicators, could mean the Federal Reserve will lift interest rates as early as June.
By contrast, Japanese data showed Monday that the world's number-three economy grew less than initially thought in the final quarter of 2014, putting the Bank of Japan under pressure to launch more stimulus.
The number three economy expanded just 0.4 percent on quarter, according to revised figures, down from an initial estimate of 0.6 percent growth, the Cabinet Office said.
Later Monday, the ECB is set to begin its long-awaited 1.1 trillion euro quantitative easing programme to stimulate growth and ward off deflation across the eurozone.
The dollar was mostly stronger against other Asia-Pacific currencies.
It fetched 13,067.50 Indonesian rupiah -- its highest level since mid-1998 -- from 12,836.00 rupiah in Asian trade on Friday,
The US unit also climbed to 62.67 Indian rupees from 62.17 rupees, to 1,111.82 South Korean won from 1,098.26 won, to Sg$1.3815 from Sg$1.3689, to Tw$31.56 from Tw$31.41, and to 32.57 Thai baht from 32.55 baht. It was unchanged at 44.27 Philippine pesos.
The Australian dollar weakened to 76.96 US cents from 78.07 cents, while the Chinese yuan rose to 19.31 yen from 19.15 yen.


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