Dollar buoyant in Asia after lower US jobless claims data


TOKYO, Japan–The dollar was buoyant in Asia Monday on the back of upbeat U.S. jobs data, while the euro was steady after Germany’s top central banker cast doubt on more monetary easing from the European Central Bank. The greenback bought 105.32 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade, slightly off a more than five-year high of 105.41 yen earlier in the session, but above 105.13 yen in New York. The euro bought 144.58 yen against 144.37 yen, after touching 145.69 yen Friday, its highest since October 2008. The European single currency edged down to US$1.3730 from US$1.3743 in U.S. trade. Lower-than-expected U.S. jobless claims last week helped buoy the dollar, and supplied further evidence of a strengthening U.S. economy. A string of positive data led the U.S. Federal Reserve this month to announce it will start scaling back its US$85 billion-a-month stimulus program in January, a positive for the dollar.

Traders will be keeping an eye on China’s official purchasing managers index, due Wednesday, while the closely watched ISM manufacturing report in the U.S. on Thursday will supply the latest check on the state of the world’s largest economy. The euro rose after Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann, who sits on the European Central Bank’s Governing Council, told a German newspaper last week that subdued inflationary pressure should not justify unfettered monetary easing. The dollar was mixed against other Asia-Pacific currencies. It rose to SG$1.2840 from SG$1.2677 on Friday, to 1,055.67 South Korean won from 1,055.00 won, and to 44.39 Philippine pesos from 44.35 pesos. It also rose to 32.94 Thai baht from 32.81 baht while it weakened to 12,265 Indonesian rupiah from 12,278 rupiah and rose to 61.95 Indian rupees from 62.10 rupees. The Australian dollar fell to 88.60 U.S. cents from 88.85 cents. The Chinese yuan bought 17.36 yen against 17.26 yen.