* Dollar rises to seven-week highs against yen
* Draghi's optimistic comments underpin euro
* Norwegian crown pressured by weak inflation data
* Graphic: World FX rates in 2017 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
By Ritvik Carvalho
LONDON, March 10 The dollar firmed to seven-week
highs against the yen on Friday, as investors awaited U.S. jobs
data ahead of next week's Federal Reserve meeting, while weak
inflation figures pushed the Norwegian crown to four-month lows
against a stronger euro.
The single currency rose a third of a percent to a four-day
high of $1.0619, having been boosted by comments from
European Central Bank head Mario Draghi on Thursday that
investors saw as somewhat hawkish.
The ECB removed from its statement a reference to using all
available measures to induce growth and inflation, driving
markets to price in an interest rate hike in early 2018, on
expectations the ECB will wind down its stimulus programme as
the European economy improves.
"It (the euro) is not going to run away to the top side
because we're waiting to see what wage growth does today in the
States, and what the Fed statement tells us next Wednesday,"
said ING currency strategist Chris Turner in London.
A surprisingly robust private U.S. jobs report from ADP on
Thursday heightened bets for a strong monthly non-farm payrolls
release due at 1330 GMT, further strengthening the case for a
U.S. interest rate hike at the Fed's policy meeting next week.
The dollar climbed almost half a percent to 115.495 yen
, its highest since Jan. 20, leaving it up nearly 1-1/2
percent for the week.
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a
basket of six major rivals, was flat at 101.85. It was on
track for its fifth straight week of gains - its best run in
eight months - after a quarter-of-a-percent rise this week.
Markets are now pricing in an almost 90 percent chance of a
Fed hike next week, according to Reuters data.
"In the near term it's going to be quite tough for there to
be further dollar strength, given how well-priced the Fed
meeting is next week, and also just how much the market has
priced for the year now as a whole," said currency strategist
Hamish Pepper at Barclays in London.
The Norwegian crown fell to four-month lows against the euro
after data showed consumer prices in Norway fell to four-year
lows in February, putting pressure on the central bank to keep
monetary policy loose.
It was last down 0.7 percent, at 9.1450 crowns per euro
(Reporting by Ritvik Carvalho; Editing by Mark Potter)