US dollar gains against euro on US jobs data

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AP FILE PHOTO

SINGAPORE – The dollar strengthened against the euro in Asia Monday on better-than-expected US employment data while Spain’s refusal to request for a bailout weighed on the European currency, analysts said.

The euro fell to $1.3002 in early trade from $1.3031 in the US late Friday. The single currency also dropped to 102.29 yen from 102.48, while the greenback was at 78.56 yen from 78.64.

The US Labor department said Friday that the unemployment rate in the world’s biggest economy dropped to 7.8 percent last month, the lowest since January 2009.

The figures sent dealers into the dollar from the euro, which continues to be weighed by Spain’s refusal to ask for a bailout, said Jason Hughes, head of premium client management for IG Markets Singapore.

“We saw on Friday the jobs data come out that was in line with expectations in terms of the payrolls and US unemployment ticked down… Focus has moved back towards Europe and what may happen coming out with Spain,” he told AFP.

“It looks like we’re still going to have a wait and see approach from Spain, there isn’t much pressure in the secondary bond markets at the moment to cause them to need to really act quickly,” Hughes added.

“So at the moment we’ll probably see US dollar strength over the week because of that uncertainty.”

Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said Thursday that Madrid did “not need a bailout at all” and insisted that the government’s tough austerity policies were putting the country on the right track.

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