Dollar buoyant in Asia after upbeat jobs data

Dollar buoyant in Asia after upbeat jobs data

TOKYO - The dollar was buoyant in Asia Monday on the back of upbeat US jobs data, while the euro won support after Germany's top central banker cast doubt on more monetary easing from the European Central Bank.

The greenback bought 105.29 yen (S$1.27) in Tokyo midday 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 144.74 yen against 144.37 yen in New York, after touching 145.69 yen Friday, its highest since October 2008.

The European single currency crept up to US$1.3746 from US$1.3743 in US trade.

Lower-than-expected US jobless claims last week helped buoy the dollar, and supplied further evidence of a strengthening US economy.

A string of positive data led the US Federal Reserve to this month announce it will start scaling back its US$85 billion-a-month stimulus programme 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 US 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.

Weidmann's comments follow recent statements by ECB President Mario Draghi that pledged action if the European economy does not improve.

"The ECB comments from Weidman that low inflation shouldn't be used to justify loose monetary policy, as well as Draghi noting that there is no immediate need for more rate cuts, are supportive" of the euro, National Australia Bank said.

Despite an uneasy year for the debt-riddled eurozone, the 17-nation bloc's unit stood out among world currencies in 2013, Credit Agricole said.

"It is interesting that despite all the doomsayers, the euro has managed to eek out the best performance among major and emerging currencies this year," it added.

The euro's "gains were followed closely by the yuan as the Chinese currency moved gradually on its quest to enter the fray as a potential reserve currency".

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