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May 28, 2017

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Dollar mixed in Asia after US jobs report

TOKYO--The dollar inched up in Asia Monday after a disappointing U.S. jobs report fuelled questions about the pace of the Federal Reserve's stimulus taper.

The greenback rose slightly to 102.34 yen in afternoon Tokyo trade, from 102.30 yen in New York Friday.

The euro weakened to US$1.3624 and 139.48 yen, from US$1.3637 and 139.52 yen.

Data Friday showed the U.S. economy added 113,000 jobs last month, well below expectations of 175,000 although the unemployment rate slipped to 6.6 percent from 6.7 percent.

The weaker-than-expected figures sparked concerns of a slump in the economy, coming after dismal numbers in December, and raised speculation that the Fed could take its foot off the pedal in winding down its bond-buying scheme.

"The headline change in employment was weaker than expected, but the unemployment rate fell," National Australia Bank said.

"U.S. employment tends to be a large market moving event, but the confusing set of numbers being released more recently, and the Fed's insistent tapering mantra, lessened the impact of the January data."

Eyes will now be on Janet Yellen's first official appearance as Federal Reserve boss in the U.S. Congress on Tuesday.

"While there is likely to be little change to the Fed's policy outlook there will need to be some reassessment of the Fed's forward guidance, especially given the surprisingly quick drop in the unemployment rate," Credit Agricole said.

The yen, seen as a safe haven in times of turmoil, has won support after a global stock market rout last week spooked investors ahead of Friday's jobs data.

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