Dollar climbs in Asia ahead of key US jobs data

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TOKYO: The dollar rose in Asian trade Tuesday as investors looked to key US jobs data later in the day as a gauge of the state of the world's largest economy.

The greenback changed hands at 98.33 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade, up from 98.15 yen in New York on Monday afternoon, partially shored up by speculation over strong jobs data, dealers said.

The euro weakened to $1.3670 from $1.3681 while it rose to 134.42 yen from 134.26 yen.

All eyes were on the September jobs report, which was delayed by a two-week US government shutdown but will be released later Tuesday.

Labour market strength is a key factor for the Federal Reserve's timeline in scaling back its huge monetary easing drive.

“If Monday was quiet in front of Tuesday's delayed US employment report, today threatens to be even more soporific as markets count the clock down” to the jobs data release, National Australia Bank said.

An upside surprise could see a revival of expectations that Fed tapering would still commence in December, the bank said, a move that would support the dollar.

“There may though be an inclination to dismiss the numbers as too backward-looking given the subsequent government shutdown and at least small hit to confidence and activity this month,” it added.

Osao Iizuka, head of FX trading at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, told Dow Jones Newswires that “the market lacks energy to move in either direction”.

While Japanese exporters are placing selling orders above 99.00 yen, importers are looking to buy below 97.50, keeping the dollar-yen rate in a narrow band, he added.

The dollar was mixed against other Asia-Pacific currencies.

It firmed to 43.21 Philippine pesos from 43.15 pesos Monday, to 61.78 Indian rupees from 61.53 rupees, and to 31.14 Thai baht from 31.11 baht.

The dollar fell to 1,060.95 South Korean won from 1,062.35 won, and to 10,796 Indonesian rupiah from 10,909 rupiah.

It fetched Sg$1.2415, little changed from Sg$1.2416, and Tw$29.40 against Tw$29.41.

The Australian dollar edged down to 96.51 US cents from 96.67 cents, while the Chinese yuan was at 16.11 yen against 16.05 yen.

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