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Dollar steady in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal

TOKYO--The dollar was steady in quiet Asian trade Friday, winning support from positive U.S. jobs data and a deal between Russia and the West aimed at easing tensions in Ukraine.

The greenback fetched 102.43 yen in Tokyo, up from 102.39 yen in New York Thursday while the euro drifted lower against the dollar to US$1.3812 from US$1.3813.

The European single currency rose to 141.46 yen from 141.45 yen in U.S. trade.

The dollar lost most of its morning gains against the Japanese currency and “we don't feel any sign that aggressive yen selling is set to start,” said Osamu Takashima, chief forex strategist at Citibank Japan.

New claims for U.S. unemployment insurance benefits edged higher last week but still remained close to a seven-year low, the Labor Department said Thursday.

Initial claims, an indicator of the pace of layoffs, have been slowly trending lower as the world's number one economy recovers from recession.

A deal struck in talks in Geneva between the U.S., European Union, Ukraine and Russia to ease the crisis took some of the short-term worries out of the market, where traders in many forex centers including London and New York were to start the Easter weekend holiday on Friday.

The parties in the Geneva talks agreed to restore security in eastern Ukraine, where forces from Kiev had moved to oust armed pro-Russia separatists from government buildings they had occupied.

In other trade, the greenback rose to SG$1.2526 from SG$1.2506 on Thursday, to 1,038.18 South Korean won from 1,037.69 won.

It weakened to 44.43 Philippine pesos from 44.44 pesos, to 11,423.80 Indonesian rupiah from 11,431.00 rupiah, to 32.18 Thai baht form 32.22 baht and to 60.29 Indian rupees from 60.37 rupees.

The Australian dollar weakened to 93.32 U.S. cents from 93.61 cents while the Chinese yuan fetched 16.45 yen against 16.41 yen.

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