Dollar firm on ex­pec­ta­tions of higher rates

The China Post - - MARKETS -

The dollar held firm against other cur­ren­cies on Fri­day, af­ter an up­beat U.S. jobs re­port added to the chances the Fed­eral Re­serve will in­crease in­ter­est rates, even as global peers stick to easy money poli­cies.

The green­back was at 120.52 yen in Tokyo trade, lit­tle changed from 120.59 yen in New York late Thurs­day but well up from 120.28 yen in Tokyo ear­lier Thurs­day.

The U.S. La­bor Depart­ment re­ported Thurs­day that the num­ber of first-time un­em­ploy­ment claims filed in the past four weeks had fallen to a nearly 15-year low, sug­gest­ing a stronger la­bor mar­ket.

The ro­bust data stoked spec­u­la­tion about the Fed­eral Re­serve’s plan to raise in­ter­est rates for the first time in nine years.

“We’re mov­ing back to a rate­d­if­fer­en­tial story,” Mike Mo­ran, head of macro re­search for the Amer­i­cas at Stan­dard Char­tered, told Bloomberg News.

“The dollar cor­rec­tion of the last cou­ple of weeks is start­ing to run its course.”

The euro bought US$1.0678 and 128.70 yen on Fri­day, slightly up from US$1.0659 and 128.55 yen in U.S. trade, af­ter Greece hon­oured a loan pay­ment due Thurs­day.

Greece made a sched­uled 459-mil­lion-euro re­pay­ment to the IMF but failed to dis­pel mar­ket con­cerns over its sol­vency as it labors to reach a deal with cred­i­tors to re­form its bailout.

Athens has un­til the end of April to come to an agree­ment with its lenders.

Later this month, it has to make in­ter­est pay­ments of nearly 400 mil­lion eu­ros, and roll over 2.4 bil­lion eu­ros in six- and three-month sovereign bills due to ma­ture on April 14 and 17. Fail­ure to do so would see it de­fault and likely end up crash­ing out of the eu­ro­zone.

The dollar was mixed against other Asia-Pa­cific cur­ren­cies.

It rose to SG$ 1.3593 from SG$1.3561 on Thurs­day, to 62.41 In­dian ru­pees from 62.24 ru­pees, to 1,093.40 South Korean won from 1,092.15 won, and to 44.49 Philip­pine pe­sos from 44.47 pe­sos.

The green­back edged down to 12,913.00 In­done­sian ru­piah from 12,917.50 ru­piah, and to 32.53 Thai baht from 32.54 baht.

The Aus­tralian dollar rose to 77.02 U.S. cents from 76.89 cents, while the Chi­nese yuan inched up to 19.41 yen from 19.39 yen.

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