The euro was quoted at
Market players caught their breath in
Now attention is riveted on the release later Friday of U.S. nonfarm payroll data for January, viewed as evidence of whether the U.S. recovery is faltering or not.
The average market forecast is for a 180,000 net increase in jobs, but special factors such as a severe cold weather in recent months make accurate predictions difficult, said
"Everyone knows recent jobs data are warped," Moritani said. "But even though it's impossible to tell just how warped the data are, people will take them as an indicator" of U.S. economic health.
The U.S. December jobs data were especially weak, showing a mere 74,000 increase. "Even if the January numbers are weak, say around 150,000, if they come with a significant upward revision for December, the market will see that as a net positive," said a senior dealer at a major Japanese bank.
Weak payrolls results would lead market players to look for hints of a change of pace in the U.S. Federal Reserve's tapering of stimulus when new Fed Chair
The euro held firm after advancing against the dollar and the yen overnight on the
Recent low inflation numbers from the eurozone had led to speculation of further easing measures, but ECB President
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