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Dollar drifts lower vs euro

TOKYO, Oct 23 – The dollar remained under pressure against the euro in Asian trade Friday as weaker-than-expected US job figures fuelled concerns that recovery will be sluggish in the world\’s top economy.

The euro rose to 1.5033 dollars in Tokyo morning trade from 1.5027 in New York late on Thursday, and to 137.54 yen from 137.20. The dollar climbed to 91.49 yen from 91.28.

The greenback was weighed down by data showing new claims for jobless benefits in the United States rose by 11,000 to 531,000 in the week to October 17, having fallen for the previous two weeks.

The disappointing figures suggest "there is a risk that the US recovery will be a tepid one because private consumption is being capped by deteriorated job market conditions," said Calyon analyst Sebastien Barbe.

Amid the lacklustre data, investors looked for better returns elsewhere, turning to riskier assets like the euro and commodity currencies such as the Australian dollar, the Brazilian real or the Russian ruble, dealers said.

Some analysts expect the euro to rise to 1.60 dollars by the end of the year.

The currency breached the key 1.50 dollars level earlier this week for the first time since August 2008.

Investors were anticipating an improvement in the German Ifo business climate index for September as well as data showing manufacturing activity in the eurozone.

Players were also waiting to see if Britain exited recession in the third quarter, with its gross domestic product figure due out later in the day.

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