Dollar mixed in Asia trading

TOKYO- The dollar was mixed in Asia on Tuesday with few immediate trading cues to move markets, after sentiment got a boost from an upbeat US jobs report and better-than-expected Japan growth figures.

In Tokyo midday trading, the greenback weakened to 102.35 yen from 102.53 yen on Monday in New York, while the euro drifted lower to 139.10 yen against 139.35 yen.

The European single currency slipped to $1.3588, compared with $1.3592 in US trade.

Dealers said the morning decline in Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 stock index was a key factor in driving down the dollar-yen rate.

“There are no other market-moving leads — traders are watching the stock market and the Nikkei’s fall is affecting” rates, said Marito Ueda, senior dealer at FX Prime Corp.

“There are just no factors to push the dollar up against the yen,” he told AFP.

The dollar-yen rate and Tokyo’s stock market are closely linked, with the value of the yen directly affecting Japanese exporters’ profitability.

On Friday, the Labor Department said the US economy added 217,000 jobs in May, while unemployment held at a multi-year low of 6.3 percent, unchanged from April.

That was followed on Monday by revised data that showed Japan’s economy grew a better-than-expected 1.6 percent in the first quarter, its fastest pace in more than two years.

A marked improvement in Chinese manufacturing and trade has also helped to boost sentiment.

On Tuesday, investors were keeping an eye on new data that showed Chinese inflation surging to a four-month high of 2.5 percent in May, although it was still below the government’s 3.5 percent target.

Dealers were also looking ahead to a Bank of Japan policy meeting later this week.