US dollar rises against euro, yen in Asia


SINGAPORE, The greenback continued to strengthen against the euro in Asia on Monday amid calls from a senior U.S. Federal Reserve official for monetary policy to be normalized, analysts said. The euro bought US$1.4058 in afternoon Asian trade, down from US$1.4088 late on Friday in New York while the U.S. dollar was up at 81.76 yen from 81.34. The European currency gained to 114.94 yen from 114.75 yen. However, the greenback was near record lows against the Australian dollar as U.S. policy comments and growth data provided risk appetite. The Aussie jumped to US$1.0295 in New York Friday, its highest since the unit was floated in 1983. In afternoon trade on Monday the Australian dollar was at 1.0265, helped by strong commodity prices and with analysts predicting further advances over the next week. The U.S. dollar posted gains against most Asian currencies, strengthening to 30.28 Thai baht from 30.24 on Friday, to SG$1.2625 from SG$1.2605, to 43.49 Philippine pesos from 43.33 and to 1,113.70 South Korean won from 1,113.55. It fell to 8,707.00 Indonesian rupiah from 8,708.50 and to NT$29.49 from NT$29.50. Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Charles Plosser Friday called for monetary policy to be closer to its “normal” state, after the central bank slashed interest rates to near zero amid the global crisis, while also flooding markets with cash as part of its quantitative easing”. The comments reinforced faith in the U.S. dollar and the U.S. economy and also came after the U.S. Commerce Department reviewed fourth-quarter growth up to 3.1 percent, from 2.8 percent. “We’ve had … some relatively hawkish comments from U.S. Fed officials on Friday,” said David Forrester, currency strategist for Barclays Capital in Singapore.