* U.S. adds 157,000 jobs in January, jobless rate edges up
* Euro lifted by better-than-forecast euro zone PMI
* Yen continues weakening trend on BOJ easing view
By Wanfeng Zhou
NEW YORK, Feb 1 The dollar tumbled to a more
than 14-month low against the euro on Friday after U.S. jobs
data reaffirmed expectations the Federal Reserve will maintain
its stimulative policy and after euro zone factories had their
best month in almost a year.
The yen hit a 2-1/2-year low versus the dollar and a
33-month trough versus the euro, extending its recent weakness
on bets the Bank of Japan will ease monetary policy further.
A rally in U.S. stocks added to the momentum as investors
shed the safe-haven Japanese currency and piled money into
growth-linked, riskier currencies such as the euro.
The U.S. economy added 157,000 jobs last month, the Labor
Department said, slightly below market expectations and the
unemployment rate edged up to 7.9 percent. But job growth in the
previous two months was revised higher.
"The latest data is a great mix for a broadening of the
'risk on' trade, with solid payrolls data showing underlying
growth was robust into the fiscal cliff," said Alan Ruskin, head
of G10 FX strategy at Deutsche Bank in New York. "The rise in
the unemployment rate should (be) more friendly for all trades
that were fearful of an early Fed withdrawal from QE."
"In sum, for FX nothing to detract from the long euro
trade." He added the data should also weigh on the dollar, with
the exception of dollar/yen.
The euro rose as high as $1.3711, its strongest since
mid-November 2011. It was last at $1.3678, up 0.7 percent on the
day. On the week, the euro gained about 1.6 percent versus the
Further upside targets are seen at $1.3833-35, the 61.8
percent retracement of the move down from May 2011 to July 2012,
which also coincides with the July 2011 low. A break of that
area opens the door to a rise toward $1.40.
"The main takeaway from the jobs report is that there's no
major acceleration or deterioration in the labor market, so that
keeps the Fed firmly on hold," said Kathy Lien, managing
director BK Asset Management in New York.
The Fed repeated Wednesday that it would keep overnight
rates near zero until the unemployment rate hits 6.5 percent, as
long as inflation does not threaten to exceed 2.5 percent.
The Fed's bond-buying and loose monetary policies have
pressured the dollar and analysts said the dollar will maintain
a negative bias as long as the U.S. central bank continues on
The dollar rose 0.8 percent to 92.51 yen, having hit
a session high of 92.64 yen, the strongest since June 2010. For
the week, the dollar rose about 1.6 percent.
The dollar extended gains versus the yen after U.S. data
showed the pace of manufacturing growth picked up in January to
its highest level in nine months, while consumer sentiment
unexpectedly improved in January.
Selling the yen has become a one-way bet, with Japanese
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe heaping relentless pressure on the
Bank of Japan to ease monetary policy aggressively to jolt the
economy out of a decade-long malaise.
The euro rose as high as 126.96 yen, the best
level since April, 2010, and was last up 1.6 percent at 126.47
Earlier, a Purchasing Managers' Index survey showed euro
zone factories had their most resilient month in nearly a year
during January, helped by solid German output.
News that banks will repay less than expected in European
Central Bank three-year loans next week dented some demand for
the euro, but losses were limited by optimism the worst of the
region's debt crisis is over.