European focus: The pound strengthened
The yen weakened as a gain in Asian stocks and signs global growth is accelerating cut demand for the safety of Japan’s currency.
The pound rose against the dollar for third day as a Bank of England policy maker said borrowing costs should be increased.
Asian currencies strengthened, led by the South Korean won, on optimism quicker global growth will boost the region’s exports.
“Risk appetite is growing on the back of growth expectations, so I would expect dollar-yen to edge higher and euro-yen to edge higher,” said Jane Foley, a senior currency strategist at Rabobank International in London. In Europe, “inflation is definitely on the radar right now, so I think the producer-price release will be watched.”
U.S. companies added workers for a 12th month in January, increasing employment by 140,000, according to a survey before ADP Employer Services reports the figures today. A Labor Department report on Feb. 4 will show employment climbed by more than 142,000 in January, after a 103,000 gain in December, a separate survey showed. The report may also show the jobless rate rose to 9.5 percent from 9.4 percent.
The euro climbed against the dollar on speculation European Central Bank policy makers meeting tomorrow will say they are prepared to act to counter quickening inflation. The single currency has added 3.5 percent this year against the greenback.
The pound strengthened, extending its third day of gains versus the dollar, after a report showed the U.K. construction industry returned to growth in January.
A gauge of building activity based on a survey of purchasing managers rose to 53.7 from 49.1 in December, Markit Economics Ltd. and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply said today in an e-mailed statement in London. The median forecast of economists in a survey was for a reading of 49.5. A measure above 50 indicates expansion.