The dollar reached an 11-month high against the yen before U.S. data forecast to show regional manufacturing expanded and initial jobless claims decreased, adding to signs the American economy is gathering momentum.
The greenback was near the highest level in four weeks against the euro amid reduced bets the Federal Reserve will begin a third round of bond purchases, or quantitative easing, which could debase the world’s reserve currency. The yen slid against most major counterparts as Asian stocks rose for a third day, curbing demand for the lower-yielding Japanese currency.
“We’re seeing a shift in trend to dollar buying across the board,” said Junichi Ishikawa, an analyst in Tokyo at IG Markets Securities Ltd. “Should U.S. economic data continue to come in firm, it will support the market’s view that the Fed doesn’t need QE3.”
The dollar touched 84.18 yen, the highest level since April 13, before trading little changed at 83.78 yen at 8:51 a.m. in London. The U.S. currency was at $1.3043 per euro from $1.3032 yesterday. It earlier reached $1.3004, the strongest since Feb. 16. The yen slid 0.2 percent to 109.29 per euro.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s general economic index probably slid to 17.5 this month from 19.5 in February, according to the median estimate of economists in a Bloomberg News survey. Readings greater than zero signal expansion in the so-called Empire State Index, which covers New York, northern New Jersey and southern Connecticut. A gauge of manufacturing in the Philadelphia region may increase to 12 in March, another poll indicated. That would be the highest since April. Both Fed reports are due today.
The Labor Department may say today the number of initial applications by Americans for jobless benefits fell by 5,000 to 357,000 in the week ended March 10, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
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