Dollar climbs against euro

LONDON: The dollar edged up Friday against the euro as fresh worries about the health of the US economy supported the "safe-haven" greenback, dealers said.

In late morning trading here, the European single currency weakened to 1.3992 dollars from 1.3997 dollars in New York late on Thursday.

Against the Japanese currency, the dollar rose to 95.96 yen from 95.94 yen on Thursday.

"The June US jobs report provoked disappointment and a subsequent sell-off in risk assets," said Calyon analyst Mitul Kotecha.

Investors bought the dollar after US job losses surged to 467,000 in June, lifting the unemployment rate to a 26-year high of 9.5 percent. The greenback is seen as a relatively safe bet in times of turmoil.

The disappointing data suggest "unemployment will continue to rise, creating a mood of distrust over the green shoots of recovery," said Daisuke Uno, a market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp.

The jobs report, seen as one of the best indicators of economic momentum, was worse than market forecasts for 365,000 job losses in June. The previous month, the number of layoffs had fallen to 322,000.

With US markets closed Friday for the Independence Day holiday, markets were looking to Europe, where manufacturing sector surveys were due in Britain and the eurozone, which will also release retail sales data.

"Data outside of the US have generally been surprising to the upside this week and this has helped support investor sentiment," Barclays Capital analysts wrote in a note.

"So investor sentiment could be sensitive to downside surprises in the data releases," they added.

Last week figures showed business and consumer confidence in the 16-member eurozone jumped to a six-month high in May while German unemployment declined.

On Thursday, the European Central Bank kept its main interest rate steady at a record low of 1.0 percent as ECB chief Jean-Claude Trichet downplayed the threat of deflation in the eurozone.

In trading here on Friday, the euro was changing hands at 1.3992 dollars against 1.3997 dollars late on Thursday, 134.35 yen (134.30), 0.8559 pounds (0.8538) and 1.5205 Swiss francs (1.5182).

The dollar stood at 95.96 yen (95.94) and 1.0859 Swiss francs (1.0844).

The pound was at 1.6360 dollars (1.6390).

On the London Bullion Market, the price of gold rose to 933.10 dollars an ounce from 929.50 dollars an ounce late on Thursday.