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May 28, 2017

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Dollar pressured after lackluster US jobs data

SINGAPORE--The dollar faced fresh pressure in Asian trade Monday as lacklustre US jobs data fuelled speculation about the Federal Reserve's plans to end its stimulus programme.

The euro bought US$1.3677 in afternoon Singapore trade from US$1.3666 in New York on Friday. The greenback eased to 103.47 yen from 104.15 yen. The euro bought 141.52 yen from 142.33 yen.

Japanese financial markets were closed for a public holiday.

The Fed last month said it would cut its monthly bond purchases by US$10 billion to US$75 billion in January as the economy shows signs of strengthening and the unemployment rate falls.

Analysts were eagerly awaiting the jobs numbers as they were seen to likely influence whether further cuts would follow swiftly.

"The dollar traded much lower against all majors following the appalling jobs report," Desmond Chua, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore, wrote in a note.

He said the dollar was likely to remain below the US$105.30 yen level owing to "the outlook in the US looking slightly bleak before US consumer confidence and retail sales data later this week".

However, French bank Credit Agricole said the jobs data was not likely to alter the Fed's plan to continue with its so-called "tapering".

The lender said the euro faced downside risks after European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi last week said the ECB governing council had discussed using "all eligible instruments allowed by the (EU) treaty" if inflation in the 18-nation economic bloc continues to fall.

The greenback was lower against other Asia-Pacific currencies.

It eased to 12,043 Indonesian rupiah from 12,198 rupiah, to Sg$1.2647 from Sg$1.2693, and to 44.57 Philippine pesos from 44.70 pesos on Friday.

It also eased to 1,056.80 South Korean won from 1,061.50 won, and to 61.54 Indian rupees from 61.92 rupees. It rose to 33.03 Thai baht from 33.00 baht.

The Australian dollar edged up to 90.31 US cents from 88.99 cents, while the Chinese yuan was at 17.12 yen against 17.30 yen.

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