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Dollar rises as upbeat US jobs data clears way for rate hike

Dollar Stock and money. Photo: investing-for-the-future

Dollar Stock and money. Photo: investing-for-the-future

The dollar rose Monday as strong US jobs data cleared what analysts said may be the final hurdle to the first Federal Reserve interest rate hike in nearly a decade.

Official data Friday showed more than 200,000 new jobs were created in the United States in November, reinforcing the view that the world’s top economy was in recovery.

The Fed is widely expected to announce its first rate hike since 2006 at a policy meeting next week.

In Tokyo, the greenback rose to 123.28 yen from 123.16 yen Friday in New York. It was at 122.77 yen in Tokyo Friday ahead of the US jobs report.

The dollar also rose against a string emerging market currencies in Asia, with the South Korean won dropping nearly one percent.

Asian units have been hit hard this year on fears of a flight of capital to the United States as dealers look for better, safer investments on the back of the looming US rate lift-off.

The won slumped 0.85 percent, while Singapore’s dollar fell 0.16 percent, the Thai baht lost 0.13 percent and Taiwan’s dollar was down 0.10 percent.

“Friday night’s solid US payrolls report seems to have removed the final hurdle to a Fed rate hike,” Kymberly Martin, senior market strategist at the Bank of New Zealand, said in a commentary.

“This raises the possibility that when the Fed finally pulls the trigger on one of the most anticipated hikes in history, it proves a bit of a non-event for markets.”

The euro weakened to $1.0861 and 133.90 yen from $1.0874 and 133.93 yen in US trade.

Last week, the single currency surged more than three percent against the greenback after the European Central Bank unveiled fresh stimulus measures that fell well short of expectations.

The bank has, since earlier this year, embarked on a bond-buying scheme that in essence pumps more cash into financial markets, denting demand for the euro.



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