March 9, 2018 / 3:32 PM / a year ago

FOREX-Dollar steady on mixed U.S. jobs data, yen falls after BOJ meeting

    * Biggest U.S. jobs gain in 1-1/2 years offsets meager wage
    * Bank of Japan pushes back on notion of reduced stimulus
    * Yen on back foot as Trump, North Korea meeting eases
    * Euro remains pressured in the wake of Draghi's cautious

 (Updates market action, changes dateline, previous LONDON)
    By Richard Leong
    NEW YORK, March 9 (Reuters) - The dollar was firm against a
basket of currencies on Friday as U.S. job growth recorded its
best month in over 1-1/2 years in February while wage gains
slowed more than expected, supporting the view the Federal
Reserve would not quicken its pace on raising interest rates.
    The yen fell broadly after the Bank of Japan stuck to its
dovish policy stance. BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, while
sounding optimistic on growth, stressed there would be no plan
to change monetary policy before its 2 percent inflation target
is reached.            
    Earlier Friday, the U.S. Labor Department said nonfarm
payrolls grew by 313,000 last month, the largest monthly
increase since July 2016, but average hourly earnings rose only
0.1 percent, slower than the 0.3 percent increase in January and
less than the 0.2 percent forecast by analysts.
    Traders concluded a tightening labor market would buttress
the case for the Fed to raise key borrowing costs later this
month and possibly two more times later this year, but the
pullback in wage gains will likely prevent policymakers from
raising rates four times in 2018.
    "While this is good news for the U.S. economy, this doesn’t
change anything with the Fed. The path of three rate hikes stays
as our base case," said Chuck Tomes, senior trader at Manulife
Asset Management in Boston.
    The latest payrolls report may bolster the greenback in the
short term, but global trade tension stemming from U.S.
President Donald Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs, which he
signed on Thursday and faster growth outside the United States
remain a longer-term drag on the dollar, Tomes said.

    At 10:01 a.m. ET (1501 GMT), the index that tracks the
dollar against six major currencies fell 0.139 points or
0.15 percent, to 90.04.
    The euro was last up 0.11 percent at $1.2324.
    The single currency remained on the back foot after falling
on Thursday as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi,
while acknowledging faster growth in Europe, said regional
inflation remained subdued and rising protectionism was a risk.
    The dollar advanced to a one-week peak against the yen after
the BOJ stuck to its negative rate policy on Friday and BOJ
chief Kuroda, like Draghi, sounded caution about the risk of
rising protectionism and inflation staying sluggish.

    The yen also succumbed to traders scaling back their
safe-haven holdings of the Japanese currency on news that Trump
was prepared to meet with North Korea's Kim Jong Un, marking a
potential major breakthrough in nuclear tensions with Pyongyang.
    The dollar was last up 0.69 percent at 106.93 yen,
while the euro was up 0.80 percent, at 131.81 yen.
    Currency bid prices at 10:23AM (1523 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
 Euro/Dollar      EUR=        $1.2324        $1.2310     +0.11%         +2.73%      +1.2334     +1.2274
 Dollar/Yen       JPY=        106.9200       106.2000    +0.68%         -5.10%      +107.0400   +106.1800
 Euro/Yen         EURJPY=     131.79         130.76      +0.79%         -2.51%      +131.8300   +130.7100
 Dollar/Swiss     CHF=        0.9499         0.9510      -0.12%         -2.50%      +0.9533     +0.9493
 Sterling/Dollar  GBP=        1.3879         1.3810      +0.50%         +2.72%      +1.3888     +1.3789
 Dollar/Canadian  CAD=        1.2838         1.2894      -0.43%         +2.08%      +1.2908     +1.2825
 Australian/Doll  AUD=        0.7841         0.7789      +0.67%         +0.51%      +0.7846     +0.7778
 Euro/Swiss       EURCHF=     1.1709         1.1708      +0.01%         +0.17%      +1.1727     +1.1679
 Euro/Sterling    EURGBP=     0.8878         0.8913      -0.39%         -0.06%      +0.8926     +0.8876
 NZ Dollar/Dolar  NZD=        0.7293         0.7262      +0.43%         +2.92%      +0.7297     +0.7251
 Dollar/Norway    NOK=        7.7732         7.8383      -0.83%         -5.29%      +7.8472     +7.7697
 Euro/Norway      EURNOK=     9.5824         9.6507      -0.71%         -2.70%      +9.6641     +9.5752
 Dollar/Sweden    SEK=        8.2288         8.2553      -0.35%         +0.33%      +8.2762     +8.2274
 Euro/Sweden      EURSEK=     10.1433        10.1789     -0.35%         +3.09%      +10.1839    +10.1418

 (Additional reporting by Saikat Chatterjee in London; editing
by Toby Chopra and Jonathan Oatis)
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