* Market focus also on U.S.-China talks, U.S. jobs data
* Euro slumps after dovish hints from ECB's Draghi
* March jobs report expected to show a rise of 180,000
TOKYO, April 7 The dollar skidded against the
perceived safe-haven Japanese yen on Friday after the United
States launched cruise missiles at an airbase in Syria in
response to Syrian forces' alleged use of chemical weapons on
An U.S. official said the strike has already been completed.
Against the yen, which tends to gain in times of
geopolitical tension or risk aversion, the dollar erased its
early modest gains and dropped 0.3 percent to 110.40 yen,
down 0.9 percent for the week.
Some 50 Tomahawk missiles were launched from U.S. Navy
warships in the Mediterranean Sea, the U.S. official said,
speaking on condition of anonymity. A target was identified as
an airbase in Homs. Further details on the target and the
results of the strikes were not immediately known.
Trump ordered the strikes just a day after he pointed the
finger at Assad for this week's chemical attack, which killed at
least 70 people, many of them children, in the Syrian town of
Khan Sheikhoun. The Syrian government has denied it was behind
Trump had said on Thursday that "something should happen"
with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad after the poison gas
attack in that country.
The air strike comes amid a summit between Trump and Chinese
President Xi Jinping, and will add a new dimension to their
Market participants now await the outcome of talks between
the U.S. and Chinese leaders, as well as the monthly jobs report
that could back views for more U.S. interest rate hikes.
The dollar index, which gauges the greenback against a
basket of six major rivals, was down slightly on the day at
100.63, up 0.3 percent for the week.
Later on Friday, the U.S. nonfarm payrolls report is
expected to show an increase of 180,000 jobs in March, compared
with 235,000 in February, according to economists polled by
Reuters, which could reinforce expectations that the Federal
Reserve will deliver two more interest rate increases this
The meeting had a strong focus on trade and North Korea's
military programme, although Masashi Murata, senior currency
strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman in Tokyo, said "I think
the market has no strong expectations from the U.S.-China
The U.S. president has also warned that he would be ready to
act unilaterally to address North Korea's nuclear program if
China does not step up to help in the matter.
Trump's domestic policy agenda was put in the spotlight on
Thursday, when U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan
said tax reform would take longer to accomplish than healthcare
reform. Ryan said that Congress and the White House were
initially closer to agreement on healthcare legislation than on
Currency policy was also in focus, after an administration
official told Reuters that "misalignment" was seen as more
significant than "currency manipulation" as a cause of trade
"Currency misalignment is different from currency
manipulation and currency undervaluation," the official said.
"So we want to see a process of analysing currency situations
that includes whether it's misaligned, not just whether it's
devalued or manipulated."
The euro was slightly higher on the day at $1.0647,
after dovish comments from European Central Bank President
Mario Draghi helped push it to a three week low of $1.0629
overnight. It was down 0.1 percent for the week.
Draghi said on Thursday that he does "not see cause to
deviate" from the ECB's stated policy path, which includes bond
buying at least until the end of the year and record-low rates
until well after that to stimulate inflation.
(Reporting by Tokyo markets team; Editing by Shri Navaratnam
and Eric Meijer)