Euro holds firm against greenback, yen


TOKYO–The euro held firm against the dollar and yen on Friday after bouncing back from multi-month lows in the previous session in response to upbeat manufacturing data. The news out of Europe added an upbeat outlook fuelled by a surge in an index that gauges the manufacturing sector in China, the world’s number two economy.

The single currency bought US$1.3464 in Tokyo, the same rate in New York late Thursday, while fetching 137.04 yen from 137.07 yen in New York. It had sunk to an eight-month low of US$1.3445 and a five-month low of 136.45 yen in Asia earlier Thursday on concerns about the effect of sanctions on Russia — a key eurozone energy supplier — over its links to Ukrainian rebels accused of shooting down MH17 last week. However, it rallied after private research firm Markit said its purchasing managers index (PMI) jumped in July to 54 from 52.8 in June. A figure above 50 points to growth in the sector while anything below suggests contraction. But Markit did warn that the crisis in Ukraine was still clouding the outlook. The dollar fetched 101.77 yen, against 101.81 yen in New York. The greenback had rallied in U.S. trade from 101.47 yen earlier in the day in Tokyo as investors welcomed a China PMI from banking giant HSBC that came in at 52.0 for July from a final reading of 50.7 in June. The dollar was mixed against other Asia-Pacific currencies. It firmed to 11,578 Indonesian rupiah from 11,542 rupiah on Thursday, to 31.87 Thai baht from 31.83 baht, to SG$1.2414 from SG$1.2384 and to 60.11 Indian rupees from 60.02 rupees. The greenback eased to 43.30 Philippine pesos from 43.32 pesos, and to 1,026.15 South Korean won from 1,028.78 won.

The Australian dollar fell to 94.07 U.S. cents from 94.42 cents, while the Chinese yuan was higher at 16.40 yen against 16.39 yen.