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Greenback posts gains in Asia on data-driven stocks rally

TOKYO--The dollar rose against the yen and euro in Asia Wednesday, boosted by upbeat sentiment, but it is still sitting around more than five-and-a-half-year lows against the pound after a strong set of British manufacturing figures.

In afternoon Tokyo trading, the greenback strengthened to 101.60 yen from 101.53 yen in New York Tuesday afternoon as investor appetite for higher risk assets picked up.

The euro bought US$1.3673 and 138.92 yen against $1.3677 and 138.88 yen ahead of a European Central Bank (ECB) meeting on Thursday.

The pound bought US$1.7146 in Tokyo after hitting $1.7166 late Tuesday, the highest level since October 2008.

Currency dealers have been moving into the pound in recent weeks after the head of the Bank of England suggested interest rates could rise sooner than initially thought as the economy picks up pace.

“Markets started the third quarter in strong fashion, as global manufacturing data provided more evidence supporting the story of improving Chinese momentum and healthy US growth,” Credit Agricole said.

Chinese manufacturing activity expanded at its fastest pace this year in June, indicating that Beijing's attempts to tackle slowing growth in the world's number two economy are gaining traction.

The dollar was mostly lower against other Asia-Pacific currencies.

It weakened to 1,009.43 South Korean won from 1,012.17 won on Tuesday, to 32.39 Thai baht from 32.45 baht, to 11,940.00 Indonesian rupiah from 11,942.50 rupiah, and to SG$1.2468 from SG$1.2490.

The dollar was unchanged at 43.62 Philippines pesos and 60.04 Indian rupees.

The Australian dollar firmed to 94.57 US cents from 94.22 cents, while the Chinese yuan traded at 16.32 yen against 16.33 yen.

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