Key Asian currencies mixed against dollar
Key Asian currencies ended the week mixed against the dollar as the United States announced hefty job loss figures and amid predictions of a US interest rate rise. The Thai baht fell further as foreign investors took fright over domestic concerns.
JAPANESE YEN: The yen fell back to three-month lows against the US dollar on speculation about rises in US interest rates, which could encourage speculators to borrow the Japanese currency to invest overseas.
The yen hit the week's low of 106.26 to the dollar before ending daytime trading at 106.03-05 to the dollar on Friday, down from 105.44-47 to the dollar a week earlier.
The US Labor Department announced late Friday the US unemployment rate jumped unexpectedly by a half percentage point to 5.5 percent in May, the steepest increase in more than two decades.
Financial markets are expected to focus on prospects of inflation in the United States and Europe in the coming week, the business day Nikkei said.
US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke signalled that US rates have probably bottomed, sparking speculation that the next move in borrowing costs in the world's largest economy will be an increase.
CHINESE YUAN: The yuan closed at 6.9228 to the dollar Friday on the exchange-traded market, compared with Thursday's close of 6.9455, and a closing price of 6.9434 to the dollar last Friday.
The central bank had set the yuan central parity rate at 6.9238 to the dollar Friday, compared with 6.9394 on Thursday.
HONG KONG DOLLAR: The US-linked Hong Kong dollar finished the week at 7.8108 to the greenback compared with 7.8054 the week before.
INDONESIAN RUPIAH: The rupiah ended the week's trading at 9,310 to the dollar compared to 9,320 to the dollar a week earlier.
PHILIPPINE PESO: The Philippines peso fell to 44.135 to the dollar on Friday afternoon from 43.750 on May 30.
SINGAPORE DOLLAR: The dollar was at 1.3665 Singapore dollars on Friday from 1.3660 the previous week.
SOUTH KOREAN WON: The won closed at 1,023.50 won per dollar Thursday, compared with 1,030.10 won against the greenback a week earlier.
The won gained strength for six straight trading days from May 26 before it fell back on Wednesday and then Thursday after a senior finance ministry official reportedly expressed "concern" over the won's appreciation Wednesday.
TAIWAN DOLLAR: The Taiwan dollar rose 0.26 percent percent in the week to June 6 to close at 30.335 against the US dollar. The local currency closed at 30.413 a week ago.
THAI BHAT: The Thai baht depreciated sharply against the greenback over the last week. The Thai unit closed Friday at a five-month low of 33.12-13 baht to one dollar compared to last week's close of 32.49-50.