Dollar rises in Asia on yen-carry trades - 1 June, 2007

The dollar rose in Asia Friday as investors stepped up yen-carry trades to take advantage of low Japanese interest rates to buy other currency with the yen.

The dollar was trading at 121.92 yen midafternoon, up from 121.73 yen late Thursday in Tokyo. The euro fell to US$1.3450 from US$1.3453.

Traders said the yen may fall further because worries about financial market risks are fading, prompting a resumption of yen-carry trades.

Earlier this week, they had been carefully monitoring the Chinese stock market, which slumped Wednesday after the government raised a tax on trading.

But such worries have been reduced lately as it became clear that global stock markets remain solid, they said.

Friday, China's markets lost some of their gains from Thursday's rebound, while other Asian markets made gains, with index records hit in South Korea and the Philippines.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index ended down 2.7 percent at 4000.74 after briefly rising in heavy trading. The Shenzhen Composite Index for China's smaller second market fell for a third straight day, ending down 5 percent at 1128.57.

"As long as stock markets remain firm, risk appetite will remain intact and yen-carry trade will continue," said Shuichi Kanehira, senior trader at Mizuho Corporate Bank.

Kanehira said U.S. payrolls data, set for release later in the day, will determine the future direction of the dollar.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires expect U.S. non-farm payrolls to have risen by 145,000 in May after increasing by 88,000 people the previous month.

The dollar was mostly higher against other regional currencies, climbing to 40.535 Indian rupee from 40.38 the previous day, 1.5294 Singapore dollar from 1.5288, and 928.1 South Korean won from 927.8.