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US dollar edges down ahead of jobs report
[TOKYO] The US dollar edged lower on Friday as traders focus on US jobs data later in the day that will help the Federal Reserve decide on when to lift interest rates.
Expectations are high for a June or July hike after the central bank's chair Janet Yellen last Friday said such a move could be justified "in the coming months", citing growth in the world's top economy and a strengthening labour market.
Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News forecast the report will show employers added 160,000 jobs in May, the same as in April, with the unemployment rate slipping to 4.9 per cent.
"If tonight's figures are in line (with forecasts), that will connect with the market's expectations for higher US interest rates," said Makoto Sengoku, a market analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Center.
In Tokyo afternoon trading, the dollar bought 108.66 yen, slipping from 108.88 yen in New York and 109.06 yen in Tokyo earlier Thursday.
The euro was up slightly at US$1.1158 against US$1.1154, while it edged down to 121.24 yen from 121.44 yen.
On Thursday, the European Central Bank, as expected, left its ultra-loose monetary policy unchanged but upgraded slightly inflation and economic growth forecasts for the eurozone this year.
The British pound bought US$1.4419, little changed from US$1.4424 in US trading.
The unit has been under pressure as Britain's June 23 referendum on whether to stay in or leave the European Union approaches.
A new poll this week showed a majority of voters favouring an exit from the bloc.
There are widespread concerns that such a move would spur significant market turmoil and slow or stall the British economy.