TOKYO- The dollar was steady in Asia Monday after a solid US jobs report for November boosted the chances of an early pullback on the Federal Reserve’s stimulus programme.
The greenback fetched 102.96 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade, from 102.85 yen in New York on Friday.
The euro changed hands at $1.3702 and 141.08 yen against $1.3705 and 141.03 yen in New York.
On Friday the Labor Department said the jobless rate dropped to a five-year low of 7.0 percent in November, from 7.3 percent in October. It also said the economy added a healthy 203,000 jobs.
The figures raised the chances of a wind down in the Fed’s $85 billion-a-month bond-buying scheme, which it has said depended on the world’s biggest economy showing it can stand on its own two feet.
A rollback is seen as positive for the dollar.
“The US November employment report helped to reinforce expectations that the Fed will begin tapering soon, possibly as early as the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting in mid-December,” Credit Agricole said.
“The jobs data followed on from several other firm US data releases over the week highlighting strengthening signs of recovery.”
Minori Uchida, chief currency analyst at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, said that “the uptrend for the dollar/yen remains intact”.
“But given its hasty rally over the past month, people are reluctant to keep pushing it up for now,” he told Dow Jones Newswires.
Official data Monday showed Japan logged a surprise 127.9 billion yen deficit in its current account — the broadest measure of trade with the rest of the world.
The reading, which weighed on the yen, reversed a 420.8 billion yen surplus a year ago.
Tokyo also announced on Monday that economic growth in the three months to September eased to 0.3 percent quarter on quarter, from the 0.5 percent initially stated and well down from the 0.9 percent in the previous three months.
The euro has been supported by the European Central Bank’s decision last week to hold off any new interest rate cuts despite prolonged low inflation. That followed the ECB’s surprise cut last month of its central refinancing rate by a quarter-point to counter the threat of deflation.
The dollar was mixed against other Asia-Pacific currencies Monday.
It weakened to 32.14 Thai baht from 32.32 baht after Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra announced she would call a general election in an attempt to resolve the political crisis gripping the country.
The greenback also declined to 61.04 Indian rupees from 61.60 rupees, to 1,053.35 South Korean won from 1,057.80 won, Sg$1.2510 from Sg$1.2536 and to Tw$29.55 from Tw$29.57.
The unit rose to 43.97 Philippines pesos from 43.87 pesos and to 11,980 Indonesian rupiah from 11,973 rupiah.
The Australian dollar rose to 91.07 US cents from 90.58 cents, while the Chinese yuan bought 16.93 yen from 16.72 yen.