News Column

Dollar steady at upper 102 yen before U.S. jobs data

July 31, 2014

Ryotaro Nakamaru



The U.S. dollar was steady in the upper 102 yen range Thursday in Tokyo, holding on to gains on optimism about the U.S. economy before the release of nonfarm payrolls data on Friday.

At 5 p.m., the dollar fetched 102.86-87 yen compared with 102.74-84 yen in New York and 102.16-17 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Wednesday. It moved between 102.72 yen and 102.89 yen during the day, changing hands most frequently at 102.78 yen.

The euro was quoted at $1.3395-3397 and 137.78-82 yen against $1.3393-3403 and 137.66-76 yen in New York and $1.3398-3399 and 136.88-92 yen in Tokyo late Wednesday afternoon.

The dollar stood mostly unchanged from its levels in late New York trading, where it peaked at 103.15 yen, its highest since early April.

"Jobs data are due out tomorrow, any further gains will have to wait until then," said Minori Uchida, head of Tokyo global market research at the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.

Traders will be looking to the data to confirm the strength of the U.S. economy. A report showed Wednesday that gross domestic product in the United States grew at an annualized 4 percent in the April-June period, beating market forecasts of around 3 percent growth and bouncing back from 2.1 percent contraction in the previous quarter.

The U.S. Federal Reserve's policy-setting body concluded a two-day meeting Wednesday, reducing the scale of its asset purchase program by $10 billion to $25 billion and reiterating in a statement that the federal funds rate will remain at the current near-zero level for some time after the program ends.

The Federal Open Market Committee statement showed an improved evaluation of inflation in the United States but was less optimistic about the labor situation despite the jobless rate falling in June to its lowest level since 2008, citing "significant underutilization of labor resources."

"It's pointing to the need for improvement in a wide range of labor market indicators, not just the unemployment rate," said Shinichiro Kadota, foreign exchange strategist at Barclays Bank.

The euro was stable against the dollar and the yen Thursday before the release of July eurozone inflation numbers later in the day. Data released a day earlier showed price increases softened in Germany, the largest economy in the eurozone.



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Source: Japan Economic Newswire


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