Dollar ticks up in Asian trading

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

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

The dollar ticked up in Asia on Monday, after retreating last week on the back of a mixed US jobs report that clouded the timeline for a Federal Reserve rate rise.

The greenback rose to 119.34 yen from 119.00 yen Friday in New York, while the euro slipped to $1.1136 compared with $1.1152 in US trade.

But the 19-nation euro strengthened to 132.90 yen from 132.70 yen.

The Australian dollar recovered slightly against the greenback, although it is still struggling near six-year lows on worries about a slowdown in its biggest trade partner, China.

The Aussie was at 69.33 US cents against 69.09 cents Friday.

On Friday the US Labor Department said the world’s number one economy created fewer jobs than expected in August. But it revised upwards the previous two months’ gains to take the unemployment rate to 5.1 percent — the lowest since April 2008.

The figures have created an uncertain picture for Fed policymakers when they meet in the middle of this month to try to decide whether to raise interest rates.

Investors had been predicting the first increase for almost a decade as early as September, but growing concerns about stalling growth in China have thrown world markets into turmoil and clouded the outlook for the global economy.

Adding to the uncertainty, Beijing on Monday said its economy grew at a slower rate than initially thought last year, expanding 7.3 percent instead of the 7.4 percent first stated, its slowest rate in a quarter of a century.

While the figures had a limited impact on markets, they are the latest to highlight weakness in Asia’s top economy, which is a key driver of global growth.

Traders are now nervously awaiting the release this week of other indicators from Beijing, including on trade, inflation and investment. They said the dollar could struggle in coming weeks.

“The market is not in a mood to buy up the dollar,” Daisuke Karakama, chief market economist at Mizuho Bank in Tokyo, told Bloomberg News.

“The dollar can’t rise against the yen as we head toward September 17 without an event to change the market mood,” Karakama said, referring to the date when Fed policymakers meet.

The dollar rose against other Asia-Pacific currencies Monday.

It ticked up to Sg$1.4263 from Sg$1.4172 Friday, to 1,204.02 South Korean won from 1,192.80 won, to Tw$32.71 from Tw$32.56, and to 46.91 Philippine pesos from 46.75 pesos.

The greenback also rose to 14,262.00 Indonesian rupiah from 14,198.00 rupiah, to 66.75 Indian rupees from 66.38 rupees, and to 36.04 Thai baht from 35.83 baht.

The Chinese yuan fetched 18.74 yen against 18.78 yen.

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