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Dollar edges up in Asia before US jobs data

TOKYO--The dollar edged up in Asia Friday ahead of U.S. jobs data later in the day that are seen as key to the Federal Reserve's plans for its stimulus program.

The greenback fetched 101.91 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade, up from 101.77 yen in New York Thursday.

The euro bought US$1.3663 and 139.30 yen, against US$1.3666 and 139.08 yen in U.S. trade.

Dealers said investors late to the dollar's recent rally have also jumped into the market, pushing up the unit.

The U.S. Commerce Department on Thursday said the world's biggest economy grew 3.6 percent in the third quarter, well above the 3.0 percent predicted by analysts.

The upbeat figures are the latest pointing to a pick-up in the U.S. economy, raising the prospect of the Fed cutting its monetary easing scheme this month instead of early next year.

A pullback on the scheme is seen as positive for the dollar.

Also Thursday, the European Central Bank held its key interest rate at a record low of 0.25 percent, while raising its forecast for the eurozone's gradual recovery despite prolonged low inflation.

The bank, like its counterparts in the U.S. and Japan, has used super-low rates and injected liquidity into the financial system to encourage lending and thereby boost investment and consumer spending.

The ECB maintained its forecast that the economy of the 17-member currency bloc would shrink 0.4 percent this year, but predicted 1.1 percent growth next year, up from an earlier forecast of 1.0 percent.

The dollar was mixed against other Asia-Pacific currencies Friday.

It firmed to 32.32 Thai baht from 32.21 baht the previous day, to 11,973 Indonesian rupiah from 11,945 rupiah and to 61.60 Indian rupees from 61.59 rupees.

The greenback slipped to 1,057.80 South Korean won from 1,061.13 won, to SG$1.2536 from SG$1.2552.

It was flat at 43.87 Philippine pesos.

The Australian dollar rose to 90.58 U.S. cents from 90.35 cents, while the Chinese yuan slipped to 16.72 yen from 16.74 yen.

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