EMERGING MARKETS-EM currencies up as U.S. jobs data falls short
By Asher Levine and Sujata Rao
SAO PAULO/LONDON Feb 7 (Reuters) - Emerging market currencies firmed on Friday after weaker-than-expected U.S. payroll numbers led traders to pare bets the U.S. Federal Reserve would speed its tapering of monetary stimulus.
U.S. employers hired far fewer workers than expected in January and job gains for the prior month were barely revised up, suggesting growth in the world's largest economy is losing steam.
"A strong number could (have accelerated) the tapering," said Pedro Tuesta, an economist with 4Cast consultancy in Washington, D.C.
Tuesta warned, however, that gains could be limited as the Fed is likely taking a medium-term view of the economy and would not necessarily modify its tapering schedule based on short-term weaknesses.
Markets fluctuated immediately after the data release as traders digested the numbers, though most emerging market currencies firmed shortly thereafter.
South Africa's rand and the Turkish lira both reversed early losses to trade slightly higher against the dollar.
In Russia, the rouble reduced early gains but remained firmer for the fourth day in a row, rising to one-week highs against the dollar. On Friday the central bank again shifted its target exchange-rate corridor following interventions aimed at curbing the pace of the currency's decline.
Ukraine's hryvnia firmed off five-year lows after the central bank slapped restrictions on some types of foreign currency purchases, saying the move was aimed at defending the banking system's stability. Continuación...