USD/JPY edged higher on Monday after Friday’s solid US jobs report added to the likelihood of the Federal Reserve raising interest rates at its much-anticipated policy meeting taking place on December 15-16. USD/JPY reached a high of 123.31 yen in Asian trading.
The latest nonfarm payrolls report showed the US economy added 211,000 jobs in November, slightly above forecasts, and the unemployment rate held steady at 5 per cent. Meanwhile, jobs growth in September and October was revised higher.
EUR/USD held onto gains made last Thursday after the European Central Bank announced its monetary policy. While the Bank did expand stimulus, it was not as aggressive as markets had expected, resulting in the euro surging towards $1.10 from below $1.06 within 24 hours of the ECB announcement.
In the commodities markets, Brent crude oil was down 0.3 per cent at $42.88 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate dropped 0.9 per cent to $39.63. Oil markets came under pressure late last week after OPEC kept its policy of not limiting output.
Gold, held onto gains from last week to traded $1085 an ounce.
In Asian equity markets, Japan’s Nikkei was up 1.5 per cent, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was 0.1 per cent higher in response to last week’s data suggesting the US economy was robust enough to handle an increase in rates. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edged up 0.2 per cent, China’s Shanghai Composite was 0.1 per cent higher, while the Shenzhen Composite added 0.5 per cent.
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