Dollar weighed down vs euro

November 9, 2009
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, TOKYO, Nov 9 – The dollar was under pressure against the euro in Asian trade Monday as investors focused on US and Chinese data for fresh leads on the outlook for the global economy, dealers said.

The euro strengthened to 1.4936 dollars in Tokyo afternoon trade, from 1.4846 in New York late Friday, and to 134.66 yen from 133.45. The dollar edged up to 90.14 yen from 89.90.

The greenback continued to suffer from Friday\’s bleak unemployment report, which strengthened speculation that the US Federal Reserve will maintain its highly stimulative monetary policy for some time, dealers said.

"With the US Fed implying it will keep interest rates very low until the unemployment rate starts falling, traders continued to pare expectations for rate hikes in 2010, which is weighing on the dollar," said NAB Capital strategist John Kyriakopoulos.

The US jobless rate jumped into the double digits in October for the first time in 26 years, reaching 10.2 percent.

Non-farm job losses narrowed last month to 190,000, but the improvement was not enough to prevent the jobless rate rising, from 9.8 percent in September.

A weekend Group of 20 pledge to maintain stimulus measures helped to soothe market fears that a premature tightening of monetary policy by the world\’s major central banks would nip an economic recovery in the bud.

Finance chiefs from G20 nations pledged in Scotland to "maintain support" for the economic recovery until it is secured.

Currency traders were looking ahead to Chinese economic indicators including factory activity and retail sales to see if Asia\’s number two economy continues to power ahead.

If the data is strong, that could trigger risk appetite which will boost growth sensitive currencies — such as the euro — against the dollar and yen, said Royal Bank of Scotland strategist Akane Uchida.

Investors will also be looking at a survey on Australian business conditions due out on Tuesday to confirm expectations of another rate hike by December. The Reserve Bank of Australia has already lifted rates twice since October.

Against Asian currencies, the dollar eased to 1,159.58 South Korean won, from 1,168.20 on Friday, to 1.3872 Singapore dollars from 1.3930, to 9,398.93 Indonesian rupiah from 9,445 and to 33.33 Thai baht from 33.37.

The greenback fell to 32.35 Taiwan dollars from 32.48 and to 47.00 Philippine pesos from 47.30.

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