US dollar edges up in Asian trade
The U. S. dollar edged up against other major currencies on Monday after weaker than expected Chinese trade data, supported by investor expectations of U.S. interest rate increases.
The greenback was at 120.44 yen in Tokyo compared with 120.30 yen in New York late Friday.
The euro bought US$1.0593 and 127.47 yen against US$1.0599 and 127.50 yen.
A report last week showed fewer Americans applied for firsttime unemployment benefits over the past few weeks than at any time in almost 15 years, helping to allay concern about the strength of the U.S. economy.
Such concerns had grown after a closely watched payrolls report at the start of the month showed the economy added the fewest jobs in March since the end of 2013.
“Data last week showed that the weak payrolls number was more of an aberration,” said Sim Moh Siong, a foreign-exchange strategist at Bank of Singapore.
A broadly healthy series of U.S. data over the past year has fed expectations the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates by the end of the year, with the main differences over whether it will be sooner rather than later.
For fresh trading pegs, investors are awaiting economic data and financial gatherings later in the week.
Upcoming data includes China’s first-quarter growth due out on Wednesday. Official data Monday showed its exports suffered an unexpected 14.6-percent fall yearon-year in March, a further sign of weakness in the world’s second largest economy.
The European Central Bank will hold a policy meeting Wednesday, which will be followed by a news conference by its head Mario Draghi, while G-20 finance ministers and central bank chiefs gather in Washington on Thursday and Friday.
The dollar was mostly higher against other Asia-Pacific currencies.
The Australian dollar fell to 75.86 U.S. cents from 77.02 cents on Friday after China, its largest trading partner, reported a bigger than forecast decline in imports.
The dollar rose to SG$1.3694 from SG$ 1.3593, to 1,098.75 South Korean won from 1,093.40 won, and to 44.62 Philippine pesos from 44.49 pesos.
The greenback also rose to 12,984.50 Indonesian rupiah from 12,913.00 rupiah and to 32.60 Thai baht from 32.53 baht while buying 62.40 Indian rupees against 62.41 rupees. The Chinese yuan inched down to 19.38 yen from 19.41 yen.