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Dollar hovers around mid-78 yen amid optimism about U.S. economy.

TOKYO, Aug. 6 Kyodo

The U.S. dollar hovered around the mid-78 yen level Monday in Tokyo amid improved market risk appetite fueled by optimism about the U.S. economy, following the release of stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs data on Friday.

At 5 p.m., the dollar fetched 78.35-36 yen compared with 78.43-53 yen in New York and 78.25-27 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Friday. It moved between 78.34 yen and 78.65 yen during the day, changing hands most frequently at 78.54 yen.

The euro was quoted at $1.2361-2362 and 96.85-89 yen against $1.2380-2390 and 97.15-25 yen in New York and $1.2205-2207 and 95.50-54 yen in Tokyo late Friday afternoon.

In early Tokyo morning deals, the dollar inherited its strength overseas on Friday against the yen on growing market expectations of better employment conditions in the United States following the addition of 163,000 nonfarm jobs in July, but investors later sold the currency to lock in profits, dealers said.

The dollar was also lifted by rises in U.S. bond yields amid expectations that the Federal Reserve will not immediately implement additional monetary easing given the recovery of labor market conditions, they said.

The euro rallied against the dollar and the yen Monday morning in Tokyo, briefly hitting its highest level in about a month against the U.S. unit and in three weeks against the Japanese currency, on eased concerns over the European debt crisis with declines in Spanish 10-year bond yields Friday, the dealers said.

But traders, including Japanese exporters, sold the common currency for the 17-nation eurozone later in the day to secure profits, they said.

"Euro buying accelerated at one point in the morning on stop-loss orders to sell the dollar for the European unit amid increased risk appetite triggered by the favorable U.S. jobs data," said a senior dealer at a Japanese bank.

But demand for the European currency tapered off as investors were not convinced about the next steps the European Central Bank may take, he said.

ECB President Mario Draghi suggested last Thursday the bank is ready to resume purchasing government bonds on the secondary market in a bid to drive down the surging borrowing costs of fragile eurozone economies such as Spain and Italy.

Masanobu Ishikawa, general manager of spot foreign exchange at Tokyo Forex & Ueda Harlow, said worries about how authorities will address the regional debt woes remain and the euro could come under heavy selling pressure again in the future.

Currency traders will focus on a speech later in the day by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on economic measurements via prerecorded video and the Bank of Japan's two-day policy meeting starting Wednesday for trading cues, market analysts said.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Aug 6, 2012
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