* Dollar on pace for best week in 3-1/2 months vs yen
* Euro on track for worst week vs dollar since late
* U.S. economy adds 171,000 jobs; unemployment rate 7.9 pct
* Overall good jobs picture, but economy needs more -
By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
NEW YORK, Nov 2 The dollar rose to a more than
six-month peak against the yen and a three-week high versus the
euro on Friday after data showed the U.S. economy created more
jobs than expected last month.
The greenback was on track to post its largest weekly gain
in more than three months against the yen. It was also poised
to have its best week against the euro since late September in
the aftermath of the U.S. employment report.
For October, U.S. employers added 171,000 jobs, well above
the market consensus of 125,000. The government also said 84,000
more jobs were created in August and September than initially
The unemployment rate, however, ticked higher to 7.9
percent, in line with market expectations.
"The rally in the dollar makes perfect sense because the
world's largest economy is showing signs of re-emerging from the
summer lull faster than in other parts of the world," said
Andrew Wilkinson, chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak & Co
in New York.
For some analysts, though, merely beating consensus
estimates for U.S. jobs would not be sufficient to turn things
around for the labor market.
Joseph Trevisani, chief market strategist at Worldwide
Markets in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey said job creation in the
United States will have to double in order to bring unemployment
near 7 percent.
The dollar hit a high of 80.67 yen, its highest since
April 27. It was last at 80.54, up 0.5 percent. On the week, the
dollar advanced 1.1 percent versus the Japanese currency.
The yen has also come under pressure because recent Japanese
data and corporate earnings have been soft. Third-quarter
economic output data, due on Nov. 11, is also likely to have
The dollar index rose to a nearly two-month high of 80.573
. It was last at 80.537, up 0.6 percent. The index has
gained for a second straight session.
Some, however, are less sure about a sustained rise in the
dollar as investors fret over the so-called "fiscal cliff" of
looming tax rises and spending cuts in the United States.
"Over the course of the next month we would expect to move
lower in dollar/yen. Any upside above 81 would be surprising
(given the) U.S. negativity surrounding the fiscal cliff," said
Christian Lawrence, currency strategist at Rabobank.
The euro, meanwhile, slid to $1.2846, its lowest
since October 11. It last traded at $1.2847, down 0.7 percent.
The euro has also been weighed down by a Greek court ruling
on Thursday indicating that pension reform demanded by foreign
lenders may be unconstitutional. That raised concerns about
Athens' ability to implement the austerity measures needed to
secure bailout funds
The euro zone's common currency, however, has held within
the $1.2800-3200 range seen since September, underpinned by the
European Central Bank's pledge to buy the bonds of indebted euro
zone countries that seek aid.
Signals in the option market showed the pair was likely to
trade in a range in coming weeks. The one-month implied
volatility on euro/dollar options fell to 7.55 percent