* Euro hits six-week highs vs dollar, five-year peak on yen
* Strong U.S. payrolls data boosts risk appetite
* Euro supported by higher money market rates in euro zone
* Dollar falls to 1-1/2 month low vs Swiss franc
By Anirban Nag
LONDON, Dec 9 The euro rose to a near six-week
high against the dollar and close to a five-year peak versus the
yen on Monday, after strong U.S. payrolls data and Chinese trade
figures bolstered risk appetite.
European stocks also rose in early trade after robust
Chinese exports, which supported expectations of a global
recovery. On Friday, data showed U.S. employers hired more
workers than expected in November, driving the jobless rate to a
five-year low of 7.0 percent.
But the better-than-expected jobs number was not robust
enough to lead markets to price in an immediate withdrawal of
monetary stimulus by the Federal Reserve, pushing U.S. debt
yields lower and dragging the dollar down.
The dollar fell to a 1-1/2 month low against the
low-yielding safe-haven Swiss franc, with the franc also
buoyed by growing signs that deflation in Switzerland was
abating and the economy was growing. The dollar fell to 0.8934
francs, its lowest since Oct. 25 on trading platform EBS.
The euro rose to as high as $1.3748 in very thin
early trade in Asia. It later slipped to $1.3707, but was
slightly firmer on the day on higher money market rates in the
euro zone as chances of further near-term easing by the European
Central Bank looked slim.
Against the yen, the euro climbed to 141.54,
reaching highs not see since October 2008. It was last trading
at 141.41 yen, up 0.3 percent on the day.
"The latest (U.S.) jobs report provide no certainty for a
January or even December (Fed) tapering to be on the cards.
Additional euro/dollar upside towards $1.38 cannot be excluded
before the pair becomes a sell again," said Manuel Oliveri, FX
strategist at Credit Agricole.
A Reuters poll showed Wall Street firms expects the Fed to
start reducing its massive bond-buying program no later than
March, with only a handful of them expecting action as early as
Fed policymakers will speak later in the day, likely
attracting attention of traders wanting to know when tapering
"The financial markets interpreted the (jobs) data as
suggesting there's no need to be pessimistic about the global
economy, leading to risk-on trades," said Minori Uchida, chief
currency analyst at the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.
Against the yen, the dollar held firm at 103.15 yen
following Friday's 1.1 percent rally, not far from six-month
peak of 103.38 hit on Tuesday. The yen continued to underperform
on the Bank of Japan's ultra-loose monetary policy and the
pick-up in risk appetite.
Data on Monday showed Japan's current account balance
unexpectedly fell into the red in October, underpinning the
dollar against the yen.