TOKYO- The dollar extended its gains against the yen and euro in Asia Thursday on hopes for a healthy US jobs report later in the day, although the US unit was unable to break out of its more than five-year lows against the pound.
In midday Tokyo trading, the greenback bought 101.87 yen, up from 101.77 yen in New York Wednesday.
The euro bought $1.3649 and 139.02 yen against $1.3658 and 138.99 yen.
The pound bought $1.7157, highs not seen since October 2008. The British currency surged this week following an impressive set of manufacturing data out of London.
Credit Agricole said it expects investors to be cautious ahead of a string of key events later in the day, most notably US non-farm payrolls data. Also, the European Central Bank concludes a policy meeting, while a report on manufacturing activity in Europe will be released.
On Wednesday, US Treasury yields and the dollar rose after payrolls company ADP said the US private sector added a better-than-expected 281,000 jobs in June, up from May’s 179,000.
That boosted expectations the Labor Department’s report — to be released Thursday — will also show a healthy rise in new posts. A strong figure will likely increase expectations of an early rise in US interest rates.
However, in Washington, Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen said Wednesday she sees some rise in potentially dangerous risk-taking in the US financial system, but none requiring a change in monetary policy.
“I do not presently see a need for monetary policy to deviate from a primary focus on attaining price stability and maximum employment, in order to address financial stability concerns,” she said in a speech.
In Europe ECB officials are widely expected to hold fire on any new measures after unveiling an unprecedented set of measures last month.
But traders are keen to hear ECB chief Mario Draghi’s post-meeting news briefing for any clues about future policy.
“The market will focus on Draghi’s assessment of the eurozone’s macro outlook and it is also likely that Draghi provides more details about the recently announced policy measures,” Credit Agricole said.