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Greenback rallies in Asia on upbeat US jobs data

TOKYO--The dollar rallied against the yen in Asia Friday on the back of mixed U.S. data, while weak eurozone manufacturing pressured the euro.

In afternoon Tokyo trade, the greenback rose to 102.60 yen from 102.32 yen in New York Thursday, in tandem with a three percent rally for Tokyo's Nikkei stock index.

The euro also rose to 140.73 yen against 140.37 yen in U.S. trade, while it was unchanged at US$1.3718, after a key measure of eurozone business activity weakened slightly.

The Markit Economics eurozone purchasing managers index for February fell to 52.7 points from 52.9 in January, against expectations of a slight increase.

“It suggests that the eurozone recovery lost a little traction in February, although the services data were slightly better,” National Australia Bank said.

On Wall Street, investors took comfort from gains in Markit's U.S. purchasing managers index, while new jobless claims fell last week, although not as much as expected.

The data offered some good news after new U.S. home construction and building permits plunged more than expected in January amid severe winter weather in large parts of the country.

New Fed chief Janet Yellen was likely to face a grilling at the G20 over the impact on emerging economies and fears of capital flight from the Fed's move to taper its huge monetary easing scheme.

The dollar was mixed against other Asia-Pacific currencies.

It weakened to 44.65 Philippine pesos from 44.70 pesos the previous day, to 32.54 Thai baht from 32.58 baht, to 1,072.09 South Korean won from 1,073.13 won, and to 62.15 Indian rupees from 62.29 rupees.

The dollar firmed to SG$1.2658 from SG$1.2645, and to 11,795 Indonesian rupiah from 11,790 rupiah.

The Australian dollar rose to 90.07 U.S. cents from 89.52 cents, while the Chinese yuan fetched 16.80 yen against 16.72 yen.

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