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Dollar weakens in Asia on mixed US jobs data

TOKYO: The dollar weakened against the yen in Asia on Monday after surging last week to seven-year highs last week, while a closely watched US jobs report missed expectations.

In midday Tokyo trading, the greenback fetched 114.24 yen, down from 114.62 yen in New York and sharply lower than the 115.39 yen in Tokyo earlier Friday.

The euro was at $1.2476 against two-year lows of $1.2456 in US trade and 142.53 yen, compared with 142.78 yen.

On Friday, the US Labor Department said the world’s number-one economy added 214,000 jobs last month.

While that figure was weaker than the forecast 235,000, the previous two months’ job gains were revised upward and the unemployment rate slipped to a six-year low.

Still, the fresh data did little to boost hopes that the US Federal Reserve would hike interest rates sooner than its mid-2015 timeline, which would support the dollar.

The euro has been under pressure since the head of the European Central Bank (ECB) said last week that he was prepared to unveil more measures to kickstart the struggling eurozone economy.

On Monday, sentiment took a hit as Chinese inflation came in unchanged at 1.6 percent in October, well off the government’s target of 3.5 percent and adding to fears about the strength of the world’s number two economy.

Weekend data also showed growth in Chinese exports and imports slowed last month.

Traders are eyeing US figures, including retail sales, and eurozone factory output figures this week.

“While US data are expected to come in decent, the eurozone will likely continue to display sluggish recovery, which would justify (a) dovish ECB stance,” Credit Agricole said.-AFP

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