Dollar mixed in Asia after US jobs data

PHOTO: Dollar mixed in Asia after US jobs data

TOKYO - The dollar was mixed in Asia Monday after the unit surged on the back of upbeat US jobs data which stoked speculation of an early pullback on the Fed's monetary easing.

The greenback bought 99.01 yen ($1.25) in Tokyo morning trade, from 99.04 yen ($1.25) on Friday in New York where it had surged from 98.02 ($1.23) the previous day.

A European Central Bank rate cut last week pressured the euro which weakened to $1.3355 ($2.23) in Tokyo from $1.3368 ($2.23) in US trade and 132.22 yen ($1.66) against 132.40 yen ($1.67).

Investor sentiment got a boost Friday as the US Labor Department said the economy added 204,000 jobs in October, double what analysts forecast.

The upbeat jobs growth, despite a 16-day partial federal government shutdown, suggested the world's largest economy could be in better shape than previously believed.

That hiked speculation the Federal Reserve would start cutting back on its $85 billion-a-month ($105.96 billion) bond buying plan by year's end, a move that would tend to boost the dollar.

The Fed has said any draw down hinged on signs of a firm recovery.

However, Tachibana Securities market advisor Kenichi Hirano called the dollar's jump on the yen "speculative more than anything else", with the dollar also facing pressure from selling by Japanese exporters.

"The real yen-weakening story will resume once reliable data come in showing an unmistakeable US economic recovery," Hirano told Dow Jones Newswires.

Strong Chinese industrial production and export data has helped lift market sentiment, but the euro remained under pressure as looming deflation fears in the eurozone saw the ECB cut rates to a record low 0.25 per cent last week.

A downgrade of France's credit rating also heaped pressure on the unit while an expected tepid result for eurozone GDP this week "will add more weight to the argument for further policy actions", Credit Agricole said.