The dollar hit a one-week high against the yen early on Friday, on the front foot after upbeat U.S. private sector job figures and awaiting the closely-watched non-farm payrolls report for another potential boost. The U.S. currency was up 0.2 percent at 111.560 yen after rising to 111.580, its highest since May 26. It was on track to eke out a gain of about 0.25 percent on the week. The euro was little changed at $1.1216 after losing 0.3 percent the previous day. The common currency had risen to a nine-day high of $1.1257 on Thursday and was still poised for a 0.4 percent weekly gain. Prior to the boost from the stronger-than-expected May ADP employment report issued late on Thursday, the dollar had struggled with U.S. political concerns and a consequent risk-off mood that had gripped the wider markets earlier in the week. The currency now awaits the May U.S. non-farm payrolls report to end the week on a high.
“That today’s U.S. jobs report is going to be strong appears to have become the consensus, so it has become difficult for participants to sell the dollar,” said Yukio Ishizuki, senior currency strategist at Daiwa Securities. “If the jobs report really is strong, we could see the dollar make significant headway as that could prompt speculators to unwind positions that involved buying the yen and selling Treasuries.” A Reuters poll showed economists forecasting that the United States added 185,000 jobs in May. A stronger-than-forecast jobs report could resuscitate expectations for a Federal Reserve interest rate hike in June and beyond, after a recent series of downbeat indicators had thwarted that scenario. The dollar index against a basket of major currencies was steady at 97.187 after adding 0.3 percent overnight. The index was headed for a 0.25 percent loss for the week.
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The Australian dollar was 0.1 percent higher at $0.7381 , taking back some ground following its sharp slide on Thursday. The Aussie had shed 0.75 percent on Thursday to plumb a four-week low of $0.7372 after news of an unexpected drop in China’s manufacturing activity. The New Zealand dollar was firm at $0.7063 after it was also hit by the lacklustre Chinese numbers.