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Manufacturing data lifts US dollar in Asia

TOKYO--The dollar rose in Asia Tuesday after better-than-expected U.S. manufacturing figures stoked speculation that the Federal Reserve will start tapering its stimulus before year's end.

The greenback fetched 103.25 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade, up from 102.94 yen on Monday afternoon in New York, surging to its highest level since late May.

The euro eased a tad to US$1.3529 from US$1.3538 while it rose to a five-year high of 139.83 yen from 139.36 yen, with the Japanese unit weighed by expectations the country's central bank will unveil fresh monetary easing measures to boost the economy.

In the United States the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said Monday that activity at US factories grew at a much faster rate in November than in October, notching up the sixth-consecutive monthly rise. Forecasts had been for growth to have slowed.

The ISM figures come ahead of a busy week of U.S. economic news culminating with Friday's release of the November non-farm payrolls report.

The employment data is seen as a key marker for dealers trying to get a handle on the state of the world's largest economy. Among the other U.S. data due for release this week are third-quarter growth and home sales.

The European Central Bank will hold a policy meeting this week, with investors looking to see if it ushers in any more monetary easing.

The dollar was mostly higher against other Asia-Pacific currencies.

It rose to 32.22 Thai baht from 32.20 baht the previous day as tensions eased after two days of violent clashes between police and opposition protesters aiming to oust Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

The dollar also rose to 1,062.26 South Korean won from 1,058.46 won on Monday, to 62.40 Indian rupees from 62.23 rupees, to SG$1.2569 from SG$1.2537, and to 43.76 Philippine pesos from 43.71 pesos. It fell to 11,858 Indonesian rupiah from 11,885 rupiah. The Australian dollar fell to 90.83 U.S. cents from 91.55 cents, while the Chinese yuan firmed to 16.92 yen from 16.78 yen.

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