The US dollar on Friday strengthened against major currencies in New York on the back an improved US employment picture, traders said.
At 10pm GMT, the euro bought US$1.2024, compared with US$1.2096 on Thursday. The US dollar meanwhile surged to ¥118.91 from ¥118.49.
The greenback got its lift from the jobs report for last month, which indicated falling unemployment and a general rise in wages.
According to the US Department of Labor, the jobless rate fell to 4.7 percent last month, its lowest level since July 2001, average hourly wages increased 0.4 percent and 193,000 new jobs were created.
While the gain in new jobs fell short of a projection for 248,000 set by economists polled by MarketWatch, upward revisions totaling 81,000 for November and December pushed the total count a bit above expectations.
Such conditions could prompt the Federal Reserve, which raised its key interest rate 25 basis points to 4.5 percent on Tuesday, in a 14th consecutive rate hike, to continue tightening monetary policy.
"There is a perception that today's unemployment rate numbers could convince the Fed to keep lifting rates into May," said Mike Malpede, senior currency analyst at Man Global Research.
The data encouraged traders in the Chicago Board of Trade's federal funds futures market to believe the Fed will boost rates at least two more times in the first half of the year, which would take its key overnight lending rate to 5 percent.
However, Peter Morici, a business professor at the University of Maryland, cautioned against interpreting the new report as a sign of labor-market strength under the administration of US President George W. Bush.
The drop actually is a consequence of frustrated job seekers calling off their searches, Morici said.
"Unemployment fell to 4.7 percent largely because adults continued to quit the job market. In January the labor force shrunk just as it did in November, and the growing number of discouraged workers is a major public-policy problem," he said.
"The adult labor-force participation has fallen significantly since George Bush took over stewardship of the economy. If adults were participating in the job market at 2000 levels, unemployment would exceed six percent," he said.
In late New York trading the US dollar was also up against the Swiss franc, buying SF1.2943 compared with SF1.2851 on Thursday, and against the pound, which traded at US$1.7617 from US$1.7803.