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Dollar hits new multi-year highs against emerging market units

Dollar hits new multi-year highs against emerging market unitsTOKYO: The dollar hit fresh multi-year highs against some emerging market currencies Friday as investors increasingly bet on a US rate hike this year, while the euro lost early gains driven by easing fears over the Greek debt crisis.

In Tokyo, the greenback surged to a new 17-year high against the Indonesian currency at 13,465 rupiah from 13,416 rupiah on Thursday and a six-year high of 34.90 Thai baht from 34.85 baht.

The greenback got a lift as initial claims for US unemployment insurance benefits fell to their lowest level in nearly 42 years last week, in another sign of tightening in the country’s jobs market and reinforcing expectations for a rate hike before 2016.

“Dollar buying has been advancing on expectations of a Fed rate hike,” Shinji Kureda, head of forex trading at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, told Bloomberg News.

In other trading, the US unit bought 123.93 yen, slightly up from 123.90 yen, while the euro weakened to $ 1.0946 and 135.66 yen, from $ 1.0985 and 136.10 yen in New York.

The euro had edged up in morning trade as Greece’s creditors prepared to head to Athens Friday for talks on a new bailout. Greek lawmakers approved this week a second round of austerity measures demanded to unlock 86 billion euros in much-needed support.

The dollar strengthened against other Asia-Pacific currencies.

It rose to a five-year high against the Philippine unit at 45.51 Philippine pesos from 45.29 pesos and a two-year-high of 1,167.87 South Korean won from 1,162.80 won.

The unit also gained to 63.91 Indian rupees from 63.65 rupees, to Sg$ 1.3725 from Sg$ 1.3670, and Tw$ 31.42 against Tw$ 31.23.

The Australian dollar dropped to 72.95 US cents, down from 73.81 cents, while the Chinese yuan rose to 19.96 yen from 19.94 yen.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015

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