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Sun, Aug 09, 2009 - Page 10 News List

Greenback rallies to reach seven-week high

BLOOMBERG

The US dollar advanced to a seven-week high against the yen and gained versus the euro for the first week in almost a month as US employers eliminated fewer jobs last month than economists forecast.

The yen dropped against all of its major counterparts this week and fell to the lowest level against the euro since June as the Labor Department’s payroll report encouraged Japanese investors to buy higher-yielding assets overseas. Treasury 10-year yields posted their biggest weekly increase since 2003, making US assets more attractive to international investors.

“The recovery is setting in relatively quickly,” said Ulrich Leuchtmann, head of currency strategy at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. “It’s positive for the dollar in the long term because when the economy recovers it’ll be clear that the US is coming out of the crisis better.”

The dollar climbed 3.1 percent to ¥97.57, from ¥94.68 on July 31. It touched ¥97.79 on Friday, the highest level since June 16.

The US currency appreciated 0.5 percent to US$1.4183 per euro, the first weekly advance since the five-day period ended July 10. The euro appreciated 2.5 percent to ¥138.41, from ¥134.99 a week earlier. It reached ¥138.72 on Friday, the highest level since June 5.

The pound dropped 0.2 percent to US$1.6684 this week as the Bank of England increased its asset-purchase plan by £50 billion (US$84 billion) on concern the recession is deeper than previously anticipated. Sterling reached US$1.7043 on Wednesday, the highest level since Oct. 21.

The yen declined 5.5 percent this week to ¥53.52 versus the Brazilian real and weakened 5 percent to ¥7.54 versus the Mexican peso on speculation investors will buy assets sensitive to global growth. Japan’s 0.1 percent target lending rate compares with 8.75 percent in Brazil and 4.5 percent in Mexico.

Asian currencies rose this week, led by the Malaysian ringgit and the Philippine peso, as signs a global economic recovery is gathering pace bolstered demand for emerging-market assets.

The ringgit reached a two-month high against the dollar and the peso had its best week since May after reports showed manufacturing picked up last month in the US, Europe and China.

Indonesia’s rupiah climbed to its strongest level in nine months before paring gains amid concern the central bank will combat appreciation to support exporters.

The ringgit climbed 0.3 percent this week to 3.5065 per dollar in Kuala Lumpur, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The Malaysian currency reached 3.4840 on Wednesday, the highest since June 3.

The peso advanced 0.7 percent to 47.755 and the rupiah was little changed at 9,965. The Indonesian currency reached 9,850 on Tuesday, its strongest level since October.

The New Taiwan dollar gained 0.1 percent this week to NT$32.792 versus the greenback, while the won rose 0.3 percent to 1,224.90 and the Singapore dollar rose 0.2 percent to S$1.4373. The Thai baht traded at 33.94 compared with 34.01 last Friday.

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