TOKYO–The dollar rose in Asia Tuesday as upbeat U.S. jobs data fuelled speculation of a winding down of the Fed’s monetary easing program. The greenback bought 99.56 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade, up from 99.20 yen in New York Monday afternoon. The euro was mixed, weakening to US$1.3392 from US$1.3407 in U.S. trade, while it firmed to 133.33 yen from 133.01 yen. Last week’s strong U.S. jobs data and better-then-expected 2.8 percent third-quarter economic growth has raised expectations that the Fed would start tapering its stimulus program in mid-December or late January. The jobs growth, despite a 16-day partial federal government shutdown, suggested the world’s largest economy could be in better shape than previously believed. The Fed has said any drawdown — seen as a plus for the dollar — hinges on signs of a firm recovery. “More and more market players expect the Fed to start tapering the program by the end of the year,” Daisuke Karakama, market economist at Mizuho Bank, told AFP. However, Karakama said he believed any pullback would happen in January at the earliest or possibly in March as worries linger over Washington’s budget battles. The euro has faced selling pressure as looming deflation fears in the eurozone saw the European Central Bank cut rates to a record low 0.25 percent last week. A downgrade of France’s credit rating also heaped pressure on the unit. An expected tepid result for eurozone GDP this week could stoke speculation of more policy moves by the ECB, dealers said. The dollar was mixed against other Asia-Pacific currencies. It rose to SG$1.2486 from SG$1.2478 on Monday, to 63.53 Indian rupees from 63.26 rupees, and to 43.70 Philippine pesos from 43.46 pesos. The greenback fell to 31.57 Thai baht from 31.65 baht and to 1,071.20 South Korean won from 1,071.60 won
The Australian dollar fell to 93.29 U.S. cents from 93.80 cents, while the Chinese yuan edged up to 16.31 yen from 16.25 yen.