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Dollar steady in Asia after jobs report

TOKYO--The dollar was steady in Asia Monday after a solid U.S. jobs report for November boosted the chances of an early pullback on the Federal Reserve's stimulus program.

The greenback fetched 102.96 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade, from 102.85 yen in New York on Friday.

The euro changed hands at US$1.3702 and 141.08 yen against US$1.3705 and 141.03 yen in New York.

On Friday the Labor Department said the jobless rate dropped to a five-year low of 7.0 percent in November, from 7.3 percent in October. It also said the economy added a healthy 203,000 jobs.

The figures raised the chances of a wind down in the Fed's US$85 billion-a-month bond-buying scheme, which it has said depended on the world's biggest economy showing it can stand on its own two feet.

A rollback is seen as positive for the dollar.

“The U.S. November employment report helped to reinforce expectations that the Fed will begin tapering soon, possibly as early as the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting in mid-December,” Credit Agricole said.

The euro has been supported by the European Central Bank's decision last week to hold off any new interest rate cuts despite prolonged low inflation. That followed the ECB's surprise cut last month of its central refinancing rate by a quarter-point to counter the threat of deflation.

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

It weakened to 32.14 Thai baht from 32.32 baht after Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra announced she would call a general election in an attempt to resolve the political crisis gripping the country.

The greenback also declined to 61.04 Indian rupees from 61.60 rupees, to 1,053.35 South Korean won from 1,057.80 won, SG$1.2510 from SG$1.2536.

The unit rose to 43.97 Philippines pesos from 43.87 pesos and to 11,980 Indonesian rupiah from 11,973 rupiah.

The Australian dollar rose to 91.07 U.S. cents from 90.58 cents, while the Chinese yuan bought 16.93 yen from 16.72 yen.

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