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FOREX-Dollar shines as jobs data supports case for U.S. rate rise
June 8, 2015 / 4:57 AM / 2 years ago

FOREX-Dollar shines as jobs data supports case for U.S. rate rise

* Dollar near 13-year high vs yen

* Upbeat jobs report spurs talk of Fed rate hike in September

* Euro on back foot, Juncker accuses Tsipras of distorting plans

* Turkish lira sinks after election jolt for ruling AKP

By Hideyuki Sano and Tomo Uetake

TOKYO, June 8 (Reuters) - The dollar held firm near 13-year highs against the yen in Asia on Monday after much better-than-expected U.S. employment data bolstered expectations for an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve before the year-end.

U.S. nonfarm payrolls jumped 280,000 last month, the largest gain since December, while payrolls for March and April also were revised to show 32,000 more jobs were created than previously reported, the U.S. Labor Department said.

“The payrolls data is making the case for a strong dollar doubly sure... The markets could even think that the Fed might raise rates even twice this year,” said Masatoshi Omata, senior manager of market trading at Resona Bank.

The dollar index moderated to 96.405 on Monday having risen as high as 96.909 after the jobs data was released on Friday, but was still above levels seen before the data was published.

The dollar’s strength was most notable against the yen, which slid out of a long-held trading range late last month. The dollar rose to a 13-year high of 125.86 yen on Friday, and last stood at 125.47 yen.

A Reuters poll conducted after the payrolls data on Friday showed Wall Street’s top banks expect the Fed to begin raising interest rates in September, followed by another before the end of the year.

New York Fed President William Dudley also said on Friday that he still expects the Fed will be in position to raise rates later this year even though he has concerns about progress in the labour market.

Currency speculators increased bets against the yen, with net yen short positions rising to the largest level in four months last week, data from the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission showed.

“The direction is clear-- dollar/yen will maintain its rally. But I think it’s too early to say that the dollar will test 130 yen soon,” said chief trader at a Japanese brokerage. “The Fed will need to check a wide range of data, such as U.S. retail sales data due Thursday, to confirm the strength of the recovery.”

There was little reaction to data released on Monday that showed Japan’s economy expanded more than initially expected in January-March as companies ramped up capital investment.

The dollar was also strong against the euro, as the single currency remined hostage to shifts in sentiment over Greece’s debt travails.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Sunday openly accused Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of distorting proposals by international creditors for a cash-for-reform agreement and of dragging his feet in offering an alternative.

“It seems like they are completely falling out with each other,” said Resona Bank’s Omata.

The euro changed hands at $1.1105, retreating from a half-month peak of $1.1380 hit on Thursday.

Elsewhere, the Turkish lira hit a record low after the governing AK Party failed to win an outright majority in a parliamentary election, raising the prospect of a minority or coalition government.

The lira, already one of the worst performing emerging market currencies this year, initially weakened as far as 2.799 to the dollar after the election results, a 5 percent slide, and last stood at 2.752 to the dollar, still considerably weaker than Friday’s close of 2.6615.

The Australian dollar was pressured against the U.S. dollar on Monday after surprisingly strong U.S. jobs data and last traded at $0.7612. Investors took Chinese trade data in their stride. (Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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