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Dollar near 2-1/2 year highs vs. yen, weaker vs. euro

ForexJan 31, 2013 11:32AM ET
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Investing.com - The dollar was trading close to two-and-a-half year highs against the yen on Thursday and was near 14-month lows against the euro as investors awaited Friday’s data on U.S. nonfarm payrolls. 

During U.S. morning trade, the dollar was steady close to its highest levels since mid-June 2010 against the yen, with USD/JPY rising 0.13% to 90.20.

The dollar showed little reaction earlier after the Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits last week rose by 38,000 to 368,000, compared to expectations for an increase of 20,000 to 350,000.

A separate report showed that personal incomes in the U.S. jumped 2.6% in December, the largest increase in eight years.

The data came one day after the Federal Reserve said it would continue to pursue its easing program and reiterated that it would hold interest rates close to zero until the U.S. unemployment rate falls below 6.5%.

Market sentiment remained cautious after data on Wednesday showed that the U.S. economy unexpectedly contracted by 0.1% in the fourth quarter, a sharp slowdown from growth of 3.1% in the preceding quarter.

Investors were looking ahead to U.S. data on nonfarm payrolls data on Friday after Wednesday’s ADP nonfarm payroll report showed that the U.S. private sector added 192,000 jobs in January, above expectations for an increase of 165,000.

The yen remained broadly weaker amid expectations that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would keep up pressure on the Bank of Japan to implement more aggressive easing measures to combat deflation.

The greenback was trading close to 14-month lows against the euro, with EUR/USD up 0.13% to 1.3582.

The greenback was lower against the pound and the Swiss franc, with GBP/USD climbing 0.30% to 1.5848 and USD/CHF slipping 0.09% to 0.9101.

The greenback was mixed against its Canadian, Australian and New Zealand counterparts, with USD/CAD slipping 0.16% to 0.9999, AUD/USD edging up 0.12% to 1.0428 and NZD/USD up 0.41% to 0.8393.

In Canada, official data showed that the economy expanded by 0.3% in November, slightly above expectations for growth of 0.2%.

The New Zealand dollar remained supported after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand kept interest rates on hold at 2.5% on Thursday and said it expected economic growth to strengthen over the next year.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, slipped 0.10% to 79.21.

Also Thursday, data showed that the Chicago purchasing managers’ index rose to 55.6 in January from a revised reading of 50.0 in December. Analysts had expected the index to improve to 50.5.

Dollar near 2-1/2 year highs vs. yen, weaker vs. euro

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