FOREX-Dollar near 2-week high vs yen after U.S. jobs data

Sun Oct 7, 2012 9:12pm EDT

Related Topics

* Dollar/yen supported by Friday's rise in U.S. yields-analyst

* Ichimoku resistance for dollar/yen lies near Y79.27

By Masayuki Kitano

SINGAPORE, Oct 8 (Reuters) - The dollar held steady versus the yen on Monday and hovered near a two-week high hit late last week after a surprise drop in the U.S. unemployment rate soothed investor concerns about the U.S. economy's outlook.

The dollar was little changed at 78.68 yen, down from Friday's high of 78.88 yen hit on trading platform EBS, the U.S. currency's strongest level since Sept. 19.

The U.S. Labor Department said on Friday that employers added 114,000 workers to their payrolls last month, while the unemployment rate dropped to 7.8 percent, its lowest level since January 2009.

The data prompted some improvement in investors' appetite for risky assets, but the dollar probably gained a bigger boost versus the yen on Friday from a rise in U.S. Treasury yields, said Mitul Kotecha, head of global foreign exchange strategy for Credit Agricole in Hong Kong.

Still, a substantial move higher in U.S. bond yields from here seems unlikely, and any gains in the dollar versus the yen will probably be limited in the near term, Kotecha said.

"The impression I get is just above 79, there is a lot of sellers out there. The impression we get is a lot of (Japanese) exporters will be in around that level," he said, referring to the dollar's outlook against the yen.

Friday's jobs data is unlikely to be enough to convince market participants that the U.S. jobs market is headed toward a strengthening recovery, Kotecha added.

According to a quarterly business sentiment survey published by the Bank of Japan last week, the average dollar/yen exchange rate assumption that major Japanese manufacturers are using in their business plans for the six months to March 2013 is 78.97 yen.

That suggests that Japanese exporters may want to sell the dollar if it rises beyond that threshold, although they are unlikely to be active on Monday, with Japanese markets closed for a public holiday.

The U.S. Treasury yield rose to as high as around 1.74 percent on Friday, its highest level in nearly two weeks.

According to the daily Ichimoku chart, a popular technical analysis tool, technical resistance against the dollar lies near 79.27 yen. The dollar faces more resistance at its 200-day moving average near 79.34 yen.

The euro eased 0.2 percent to $1.3010, pulling away from Friday's two-week high of $1.3072.

A focal point for the euro has been when Spain might make a request for external aid.

Traders say the euro could get a boost if Spain makes such a request as that would open the way for the European Central Bank to buy Spanish debt to help bring down Madrid's borrowing costs.

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