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[TOKYO] The dollar eased against most currencies in Asia early Thursday after surging at the start of the week, while a strong unemployment reading boosted the Australian dollar.
The Aussie surged more than one percent against the greenback, as government data showed the country's October jobless rate fell to a better-than-expected 5.9 per cent.
Investors moved into high-yield, or riskier, emerging currencies as they await speeches by Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen and other US central bank policymakers for hints about their plans for US interest rates.
With US economic data showing improvement, the Fed is considering hiking rates next month, at the same time as other central banks - including in Europe and Japan - are mulling further loosening as growth at home struggles.
"Divergence in monetary policy is creating an even choppier investment environment," Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets Plc, told Bloomberg News.
"The futures market is indicating that it's more likely than not that we'll see the Fed raise rates in December. Expectations of further easing in China are high because there's been a demonstrated responsiveness among policy makers to the weakening economy."
The dollar has given up some of its strength in previous days after last week's US jobs report boosted expectations Fed policymakers will hike rates for the first time in nine years at their next meeting.
This week, a lot of the rate hike speculation has already been priced in, Koji Fukaya, chief executive officer at FPG Securities Co, told Bloomberg News.
"Emerging and commodities currencies have more scope to react to positive news as they have priced in negative news," Fukaya said.
"These currencies have been sold off, making some breathing space to recover when there (is) positive news."
In Tokyo trade Thursday Indonesian rupiah tacked on 0.2 per cent, the South Korean won added 0.1 per cent and the Malaysian ringgit was up 0.05 per cent. The Taiwan dollar was up 0.2 per cent and the Thai baht was also higher.
Emerging units have climbed in Asia for the past three days after taking a hammering in response to the US jobs figures.
The euro advanced to US$1.0764 and 132.34 yen from US$1.0741 and 131.94 yen. But the dollar rose to 122.95 yen from 122.84 yen Wednesday in New York.