The Dollar edged up against a number of major global currencies in Thursday’s trading in Asia. The action appears to be linked to investor expectations of upbeat U.S. jobs report, which could see the Fed hike interest rates this year. Fed officials will be meeting at the agency’s headquarters between March 15 and March 16.
The upcoming U.S. jobs data not only helped push up the dollar in Asia, but also lifted several Asian currencies. Rising commodity prices also played a role in strengthening a number of currencies in Asia, with some touching multi-month highs.
What happened in Australia?
The AUD/USD pair rose to touch a new high for the year, thanks largely to the country’s positive economic growth metrics. Official data showed that Australian economic grew faster in 4Q2015 than economists had projected.
AUD gained 0.1% to sit 0.7301 against USD. That developed continued the series of gains by the Aussie this week after it reported positive economic data.
USD pushed up against the Japanese yen, adding 0.5% to hit at 114.05. The action almost saw USD/JPY pair reach its two-week peak of 114.56.
What about the common currency?
USD also gained against EUR, advancing 0.1% to 1.0858. But EUR also showed strength on its side as it rose above the previous session’s 1.0825, which set a one-month low for the common currency.
However, EUR gained against JPY in Thursday’s session, rising 0.5% to 123.86.
What happened in China?
The Chinese yuan also firmed against the dollar. The development comes ahead of the Chinese National People’s Congress meeting starting this Saturday. China’s central bank had previously fixed what many considered a strong midpoint for yuan exchange against the greenback.
In as much as yuan has been relatively strong against the dollar in the recent times, economists believe that it will take time before the currency stabilizes. Over the next three months, analysts see yuan weakening to 6.70 against the dollar.
Elsewhere in Asia?
Taiwan dollar, Philippine peso and Indonesian rupiah all touched multi-month highs amid expectation of positive U.S. job market data on Friday. Indonesian rupiah in particular, which rose to 13,233 against the dollar, scaled its highest point against the greenback since at least mid-October 2015.