TOKYO – The dollar and euro held steady against the yen in Asia on Monday as confidence was boosted by upbeat US jobs data that suggested a recovery in the world's number one economy is well on track.
The greenback changed hands at 102.49 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade against 102.50 yen in New York Friday. The euro was slightly higher at $1.3643 and 139.86 yen, against $1.3641 and 139.80 yen. "Optimism over the global economy has been spreading gradually on financial markets and 'risk-on' mode is on an upward trend," Credit Suisse research analyst Hiromichi Shirakawa said in a note.
"But there have been gradual downgrades by economists on the global economic outlook. We should pay attention to this gap," he said. Investors tend to sell the yen and move into riskier assets such as the dollar and euro as sentiment improves. On Friday, the Labor Department said that US employers created more than 200,000 jobs for the fourth straight month in May, showing the market was steadily improving.
That came a day after the European Central Bank unveiled a fresh batch of monetary easing measures to fight off deflation risks and kickstart the eurozone economy. Investors reacted little to revised data Monday that confirmed the Japanese economy saw its strongest expansion in more than two years during the first quarter of 2013.
The world's number-three economy grew 1.6 percent between January and March, slightly faster than an initial estimate of 1.5 percent. But the strong figures reflected a rush in consumer spending before an April 1 sales tax hike, which has since dented activity. The dollar weakened against other Asia-Pacific currencies.
It slipped to 1,017.43 South Korean won from 1,019.75 won on Friday, to 43.58 Philippine pesos from 43.66 pesos, to Sg$1.2507 from Sg$1.2527, and to 59.05 Indian rupees from 59.22 rupees. The US unit also fell to 11,787.50 Indonesian rupiah from 11,839 rupiah, to 32.46 Thai baht from 32.56 baht, and to Tw$30.00 from Tw$30.02.
The Australian dollar rose to 93.52 US cents from 93.28 cents, while the Chinese yuan bought 16.39 yen against 16.34 yen.