rallies before U.S. jobs data, index set for 12th week of gains
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[October 03, 2014] By
LONDON (Reuters) - The dollar rebounded
against the yen on Friday, lifted by bargain hunting before U.S. jobs
data and leaving the index on track for its 12th week of gains, a feat
not seen in four decades.
The dollar index moved in sync with U.S. Treasury yields, which
edged up in anticipation of a good jobs number. The index which
measures the dollar against a basket of major currencies, has risen
7.7 percent last quarter and its continued surge highlighted how
bullish investors were about the dollar's prospects.
The September non-farm payrolls data is due at 1230 GMT (0830 EDT)
and a robust number could further fuel expectations of an early
interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve. According to a Reuters
poll of economists, non-farm payrolls are seen coming in at 215,000,
a big jump from August.
The dollar index was up 0.45 percent at 85.984, not far from a
four-year high of 86.218 struck on Sept 30. The succession of weekly
gains is the longest since the start of fully-floating exchange
rates in the early 1970s, Reuters data shows.
"The dollar index is headed for 12 straight weeks of gains which is
unprecedented. It has to overcome the non-farm payrolls data to
close higher, but generally speaking the building blocks for a
further dollar rally are in place," said Jeremy Stretch, head of
currency strategy at CIBC World Markets.
While CIBC's forecasts for jobs growth in September are below
consensus, Stretch expects an upward revision to August numbers
which would still leave the U.S. labor market adding jobs at a
fairly brisk pace. A robust jobs number would bolster expectations
that monetary policies between the U.S. and its counterparts in
Japan and Europe are set to diverge.
Both the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank are pursuing
ultra-loose monetary policy to stave off deflation and encourage
growth, while the Fed's asset purchase program is set to end this
The dollar rose 0.5 percent to 108.96 yen <JPY=>, coming off the
week's trough of 108.01 hit on Thursday, but still some distance
from the six-year peak of 110.09 struck on Wednesday.
Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the yen's weakening is
positive as long as it reflects the actual state of the economy.
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EURO BEARS DISAPPOINTED
The dollar's upswing saw the euro shed 0.4 percent to trade at
$1.2620. The single currency was also weighed down by
weaker-than-expected services data from the euro zone.
has recovered from a two-year low of $1.2571 struck earlier this
week, helped mainly by a bout of short covering after ECB chief
Mario Draghi on Thursday gave no indication the bank is planning an
imminent stimulus program involving buying of government bonds.
Traders said along with the ECB's unwillingness to announce a
specific target for its purchases of secured debt and bundled loans,
Thursday's actions raised questions about whether the current
programs are sufficient to expand the ECB's balance sheet at a
faster pace and drive down the currency.
"The euro's rebound did not look convincing even as Draghi did not
sound as dovish as expected. The fundamentals remain unchanged - the
ECB is seen being forced to adopt QE (quantitative easing) down the
road, while the Fed appears poised to hike rates if conditions
allow," said Junichi Ishikawa, a market strategist at IG Securities
(additional reporting by Shinichi Saoshiro; Editing by Susan Thomas
and Toby Chopra)
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