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Dollar slips in Asia ahead of US jobs data

TOKYO--The dollar eased in Asia Thursday ahead of key U.S. jobs data seen as crucial for the timing of the Federal Reserve's stimulus pullback, while the euro treaded water as European central bankers meet later in the day.

The greenback slipped to 102.00 yen in afternoon Tokyo trading from 102.32 yen in New York Wednesday afternoon, as investors grew cautious with Tokyo stocks expanding losses.

The euro fetched US$1.3602 and 138.97 yen, against US$1.3591 and 139.06 yen.

The benchmark Nikkei index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 1.74 percent in afternoon trade.

The dollar got a lift Wednesday after payrolls firm ADP reported U.S. private-sector hiring surged in November, with a net 215,000 new jobs created, the strongest month so far in 2013 and well above analyst expectations.

Other U.S. data also came in better than anticipated, including a sharp rebound in new-home sales and a shrinking foreign trade deficit, helping to offset a slowdown in services-sector growth.

The yen has been under pressure as some investors bet the Bank of Japan will launch further stimulus to help boost the world's third-largest economy.

Against other Asia-Pacific currencies the dollar was mixed.

It firmed to 32.21 Thai baht from 32.18 baht Wednesday as Thailand observed a lull in political tensions to mark its king's 86th birthday.

It also edged up to 1,061.13 South Korean won from 1,060.84 won, to SG$1.2552 from SG$1.2539, to 43.87 Philippine pesos from 43.73 pesos.

But it fell to 11,945.00 Indonesian rupiah from 12,009 rupiah.

The dollar also tumbled to 61.59 Indian rupees from 62.50 rupees with the Indian currency rallying on early indications of support for the pro-business Bharatiya Janata Party in state elections held since November.

Official results of the elections will be released on Sunday.

The Australian dollar fell to 90.35 U.S. cents from 90.66 cents, while the Chinese yuan slipped to 16.74 yen from 16.81 yen.

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