TOKYO: The euro recovered some losses against the dollar in Asian trade after slipping below $1.800 for the first time in more than nine years, while traders await the release of US jobs figures later in the day.
In Tokyo, the single currency rose to $1.1809 from $1.1795 in New York. The last time it was below $1.800 was December 2005. It also weakened to 140.97 yen Friday from 141.15 yen on Thursday.
The unit has taken a hammering in recent sessions as investors bet the European Central Bank will unveil a bond-buying scheme — known as quantitative easing (QE) — just as the US Federal Reserve considers raising interest rates.
“Poor economic data out of Europe continues to fuel speculation that (ECB chief Mario) Draghi will introduce some form of policy easing at the January 22 meeting,” National Australia Bank said.
This week saw the release of data showing consumer prices fell in December for the first time in more than five years, fuelling fears the eurozone is on the cusp of a deflationary cycle. And on Thursday Germany said its factory orders fell 2.4 percent in November, more than the 0.8 percent fall expected.
“It does appear that quantitative easing is more likely sooner than later,” Ken Dickson, an Edinburgh-based director of foreign exchange at Standard Life Investments, told Bloomberg News
The dollar eased to 119.35 yen from 119.65 yen in New York, despite growing expectations for strong US payroll figures.
Analysts said Friday’s US jobs report was likely to confirm the strength in the world’s top economy with some 245,000 jobs created, pushing the official unemployment rate down a notch to 5.7 percent.
“There aren’t many reasons for the dollar to trend lower,” said Daisuke Karakama, chief market economist at Mizuho Bank.
“Even if the labour report turns out to be bad, we shouldn’t expect the dollar to fall below 118 yen.”