The euro surged 2 percent against the dollar here Friday following publication of a US job creation figure for last month that was far below market expectations and deeply disappointing to investors. \nThe single currency in late-day trading was at US$1.2403, against US$1.2197 late Thursday in new York. \nThe euro jumped to US$1.2424 from US$1.2185 within minutes of news from Washington that the US economy created a mere 21,000 jobs in February rather than the 126,000 expected by analysts. \nHad the anticipated figure been met, analysts said, it would have been seen as heralding a move by the US Federal Reserve to raise interest rates, thereby slowing the appreciation of the euro. \nAgainst the yen the dollar rose to ¥111.44 from ¥111.08 on Thursday. \n"With markets reacting more to poor data than strong data, the dollar got pummelled in the wake of these numbers," said Adam Cole, senior forex strategist strategist at Credit Agricole Indosuez. \nPropsects for a strong jobs report had helped the dollar post sharp gains over the last few days. \nStarting the week at around the US$1.2540 mark, the euro dropped to a low of US$1.2060 on Wednesday. \nAnalysts said Friday's disc-ouraging news could herald a renewed period of dollar weakness, with the euro poised to test its all-time high of over US$1.29 once again to the likely discomfort of European officials. \n"As of Monday, the markets will start testing the euro's upside and the European Central Bank's pain threshold," said Neil Mackinnon, chief economist at ECU Group. \nOnce the US$1.25 is breached, Mackinnon said he expected ECB officials to try to "talk down" the euro to prevent any further appreciation that could nip any eurozone recovery in the bud. \nPrior to the dollar's bounce-back over the past couple of weeks, ECB officials had voiced their concerns about the euro's ascent. \nBut Mackinnon said he doubted their concerns would have much impact and stressed that talk would have to be backed by action, with the ECB cutting its interest rates to reduce differentials with those in the US. \nFriday's report also dampened any suggestion that the US Federal Reserve might raise its own rates any time soon. \nThe euro was changing hands at US$1.2403 from US$1.2197 late on Thursday in New York, ¥138.24 (¥135.54), £0.6728 (£0.6693) and 1.5781 Swiss francs (Sf1.5770). \nThe dollar stood at ¥111.44 (¥111.08) and 1.2721 Swiss francs (Sf1.2920). \nThe pound was at US$1.8432 (US$1.8231), ¥205.44 (¥202.44) and 2.3447 Swiss francs (Sf2.3542). \nOn the London Bullion Market, the price of an ounce of gold stood at US$399.25 against US$392 on Thursday afternoon.
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EQUITIES TAIEX rebounds after slump The TAIEX yesterday staged a moderate technical rebound following Friday’s slump as bargain hunters bought into select market heavyweights, especially in the bellwether electronics sector. However, turnover remained thin as many investors stayed on the sidelines to see how tensions between Washington and Beijing play out after China unveiled plans to implement national security legislation in Hong Kong to tighten its grip on the territory, dealers said. The TAIEX closed up 60.03 points, or 0.56 percent, at 10,871.18, on turnover of NT$146.074 billion (US$4.86 billion). Foreign institutional investors sold a net NT$4.57 billion of shares, Taiwan Stock