Tokyo - The yen weakened in Asia on Monday following upbeat Japanese economic growth data and Tokyo's successful bid to host the 2020 Olympics, as well as weaker-than-expected US jobs figures.
The Japanese capital's Olympics win was seen as boosting support for a government bid to reflate the Japanese economy with a stimulus blitz that has sharply weakened the yen since the start of the year.
In morning Tokyo trade, the dollar bought 99.54 yen against 99.11 yen on Friday afternoon in New York where the greenback slid after the US government reported that the economy had added a worse-than-expected 169 000 jobs in August.
The dollar had briefly topped 100 yen in initial trades but eased as Japanese exporters bought the yen to lock in the higher rate, dealers said.
The euro climbed to 131.13 yen from 130.62 yen in New York while fetching $1.3173 against $1.3180.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's policy prescription of big government spending and aggressive central bank easing to stoke the economy has helped shave about one-quarter off the yen's value against the dollar since the start of the year, giving a boost to exporters.
Dealers said a wave of popular support for Abe would likely see him press on with his economy-boosting scheme that will now see big infrastructure spending in the lead up to the summer games.
“The yen is cheaper this morning because the successful bid to host the Olympics means market players think that Abenomics... will be successful,” said Marito Ueda, senior dealer at FX Prime Corp.
Also Monday, Japan said second-quarter growth came in at 0.9 percent from the previous three months, better than an initial estimate of 0.6 percent.
National Australia Bank said the poor US jobs data “has come perilously close to stopping out our view” that the Fed will begin tapering its stimulus programme following a September 17-18 policy meeting.
“With no top-tier economic data due for release between now and then, we put the odds of a taper being announced later this month at no higher than 60 percent,” it said in a note. - AFP