* Strong Aussie jobs, China trade data boost risk appetite
* Chinese pension fund comments help a battered euro
* ECB meeting in focus
* Kiwi gains after slightly positive RBNZ statement
By Satomi Noguchi
TOKYO, June 10 The Australian dollar jumped on
Thursday on upbeat Aussie jobs data and strong Chinese exports,
while the euro bounced on short-covering after the head of
China's national pension fund said the currency would weather
Europe's debt crisis.
A stronger-than-expected rise in Australian employment
numbers for May and a near 50 percent surge in Chinese exports
the same month ran counter to persistent fears the global economy
was starting to falter amid euro zone debt woes.
Dai Xianglong, chairman of $114 billion China's National
Social Security Fund, said the euro would gradually stabilise and
that the U.S. fiscal deficit remained a big concern.
The euro rose 0.7 percent on the day to around $1.2059
EUR=EBS and at one point climbed as high as $1.2064, up more
than one U.S. cent from an earlier low of $1.1957.
It has risen about 1.5 percent since hitting a four-year low
of $1.1876 on trading platform EBS on Monday.
"Traders are buying back the euro for now but there aren't
strong factors to support the euro. I expect the euro will meet
solid resistance near $1.22," said Koji Fukaya, a senior currency
analyst at Deutsche Bank in Tokyo.
Traders expect the euro to come under pressure again after
short-covering runs its course, with many market players looking
to see if the European Central Bank, which meets later in the
day, plans new efforts to help troubled euro zone countries.
The ECB is expected to keep interest rates at a record low
when it meets on Thursday. [ID:nLDE6521S4]
Against the yen, the euro rose 0.5 percent to 109.85 yen
EURJPY=R and the dollar was little changed at 91.20 yen JPY=.
The Australian dollar rallied as much as 1.5 percent at one
point after Australia added 26,900 jobs in May, much more than an
expected 17,500. It later changed hands at $0.8365 AUD=D4, up
about 1.2 percent on the day.
Data also showed full-time jobs again blew away forecasts
with a big 36,400 jump and the jobless rate also surprised by
dipping to 5.2 percent. That suggests wage pressures could begin
to build and that there was more risk of further increases in
interest rates than currently priced by markets.[ID:nSGE658092]
The Aussie added to its gains after China confirmed faster
exports. China's exports rose 48.5 percent in May from a year
earlier and imports were up 48.3 percent.[ID:nTOE65605K]
"The data from Australia and China, together with remarks
from (Fed Chairman) Bernanke yesterday on the U.S. economy,
suggest that the European debt problems have so far not been
damaging economies elsewhere," said Minoru Shioiri, chief manager
of forex trading at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.
"But recent heavy price movements in stock markets indicate
it's hard to expect a full recovery of sentiment in the financial
markets soon," Shioiri said.
The New Zealand dollar climbed after the country's central
bank sounded slightly more positive than expected in its policy
statement. It raised interest rates for the first time since the
global crisis, as widely expected, and investors looked for more
rate rises in coming months. [ID:nSGE65701N][nWEL004070]
The New Zealand dollar was up 1 percent at $0.6786 NZD=D4.
(Additional reporting by Hideyuki Sano; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)