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July 24, 2017

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Greenback remains mixed in Asia trading after Japan growth figures

TOKYO--The dollar was mixed in Asia on Tuesday with few immediate trading cues to move markets, after sentiment got a boost from an upbeat U.S. jobs report and better-than-expected Japan growth figures.

In Tokyo afternoon trading, the greenback weakened to 102.28 yen from 102.53 yen on Monday in New York, while the euro drifted lower to 139 yen against 139.35 yen.

The European single currency slipped to US$1.3587, compared with US$1.3592 in U.S. trade.

Dealers said the 0.85-percent decline in Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 stock index was a key factor in driving down the dollar-yen rate.

"There are no other market-moving leads — traders are watching the stock market and the Nikkei's fall is affecting" rates, said Marito Ueda, senior dealer at FX Prime Corp.

"There are just no factors to push the dollar up against the yen," he told AFP.

The dollar-yen rate and Tokyo's stock market are closely linked, with the value of the yen directly affecting Japanese exporters' profitability and, in turn, movement in their shares.

On Friday, the Labor Department said the U.S. economy added 217,000 jobs in May, while unemployment held at a multiyear low of 6.3 percent, unchanged from April.

That was followed on Monday by revised data that showed Japan's economy grew a better-than-expected 1.6 percent in the first quarter, its fastest pace in more than two years.

Dealers were also looking ahead to a Bank of Japan policy meeting later this week.

In other trading, the dollar rose to 43.67 Philippine pesos from 43.58 pesos, to 11,807.50 Indonesian rupiah from 11,787.50, to 32.48 Thai baht from 32.46 baht, and to 59.28 Indian rupees from 59.05 rupees.

It weakened to 1,017.25 South Korean won from 1,017.43 won. The greenback was unchanged at SG$1.2507.

The Australian dollar rose to 93.55 U.S. cents from 93.52 cents, while the Chinese yuan bought 16.41 yen against 16.39 yen.

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