Japanese shares rallied Friday as the dollar surged against the yen ahead of key US jobs data, while Asian energy firms were mixed following another sharp sell-off in oil. With the Federal Reserve all but certain to hike US interest rates at a much-anticipated meeting next week the non-farm payrolls release later in the day will be pored over for clues on bank policymakers’ plans for the rest of the year.
The anticipation sent the dollar bursting past 115 yen on Thursday for the first time since the end of January and it managed to hold on in early Asian business, providing rich picking for Japanese traders buying the country’s exporters. Tokyo’s Nikkei ended up 1.5 percent, having broken a four-day losing streak on Thursday.
“Now the market appears convinced that the Fed will raise the rate, while investors are expecting encouraging US payroll figures,” Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities, told AFP. “All in all, Tokyo market sentiment is positive.” The dollar also extended gains against the struggling pound, while it managed to temper a rally in the euro which got a shot in the arm after European Central Bank boss Mario Draghi offered an upbeat outlook for the eurozone economy.
The ECB upped its growth and inflation forecasts for this year while Draghi signalled it no longer sees an urgent need to undertake any extra support measures, meaning there would be no increase in euros being pumped into the system.—APP