Greenback eases on yen in Asia as traders brace for possible Fed rollback


TOKYO–The dollar eased against the yen in Asian afternoon trade Friday after getting a boost on strong US jobs data, which bolstered speculation the Fed will soon begin a rollback of its monetary easing scheme. The greenback bought 101.03 yen in Tokyo after jumping to 101.39 yen earlier in the day, against 101.16 yen in New York Thursday. A drop in weekly U.S. jobless claims and a pick-up in manufacturing activity in November boosted sentiment, powering the Dow to another record high and fuelling speculation of a pullback of the Fed’s bond-buying plan. The euro bought US$1.3473 compared with US$1.3478, and 136.14 yen against 136.34 yen. The single currency rose in New York after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi moved to temper talk of a rate cut. The ECB head said the bank was not planning to take one of its key rates — the deposit rate — to negative territory from zero percent. On Friday, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda played down suggestions its own aggressive easing programme was fuelling excessive weakness in the yen. He said the currency’s recent decline against the dollar was not “abnormal”. The currency has lost about a quarter of its value against the greenback since late last year.

“Excessive strength in the yen has been in a correction process,” Kuroda said during a parliamentary financial committee session.

“I don’t think there is any bubble-like, abnormal yen weakness right now in the currency market.” The dollar was mixed against other Asia-Pacific currencies. It climbed to 62.97 Indian rupees from 62.92 rupees the previous day, to 31.83 Thai baht from 31.79 baht, to SG$1.2507 from SG$1.2487, and to 43.87 Philippine pesos from 43.80 pesos. It was also higher at 11,728 Indonesian rupiah from 11,705 rupiah. However it eased to 1,060.73 South Korean won from 1,063.06 won.

The Australian dollar tumbled to 91.91 US cents from 93.03 cents, while the Chinese yuan rose to 16.59 yen from 16.46 yen.