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May 28, 2017

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Euro firms against US dollar, yen in Asian forex trade

TOKYO--The euro rose against the U.S. dollar and yen in Asia on Friday, extending gains in New York following Spain's announcement of a fresh austerity budget that could pave the way for a bailout.

The euro fetched US$1.2935 and 100.25 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade, up from US$1.2911 and 100.19 yen in New York late Thursday. The dollar eased to 77.51 yen from 77.60 yen.

The dollar fell against other Asia-Pacific currencies, hitting 52.67 Indian rupees from 53.37 rupees on Thursday, dropping to 1,111.10 South Korea won from 1,118.80 won, to 41.76 Philippine pesos from 41.88 pesos, and to SG$1.2243 from SG$1.2291.

The dollar also slipped to 9,571 Indonesian rupiah from 9,593, while holding firm at 30.80 Thai baht.

China's yuan changed hands at 12.28 yen against 12.29 yen while the Australian dollar rose to US$1.0463 from US$1.0401.

The Spanish government unveiled Thursday a 2013 budget rakes in 39 billion euros in spending cuts and tax increases to curb the public deficit, while introducing structural reforms agreed with the European Union.

Markets saw the move as one of the final acts before a sovereign bailout, which would also make Madrid eligible to benefit from a bond-buying program for troubled states outlined by the European Central Bank on Sept. 6.

On Friday Japan's industry ministry said factory output in August fell by a bigger-than-expected 1.3 percent from the previous month, adding that production activity was weakening.

The decline was much sharper than an average market forecast of a 0.4 percent drop, stoking fears that the eurozone debt crisis and slowing growth in China were hampering recovery in the world's third-largest economy.

The fall in output "would draw expectations that the Bank of Japan will take additional monetary easing measures, weighing on the yen," said Masafumi Yamamoto, senior currency strategist at Barclays Capital.

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