Dollar mixed in Asian trade

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Tokyo -

The dollar was mixed in Asia on 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 103.01 yen in Tokyo morning trade, from 102.85 yen in New York on Friday.

The euro strengthened to $1.3707 and 141.21 yen against $1.3705 and 141.03 yen in New York.

On Friday, the Labour 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 it dependent on the 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.”

Weighing on the yen, 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 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.

The move follows the ECB's surprise cut last month of its central refinancing rate by a quarter-point to counter the threat of deflation. - Sapa-AFP


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