* Dollar/yen hovers near 1-month high
* Market focus back on Greek debt developments
* Renewed China worries knock Aussie lower
By Shinichi Saoshiro
TOKYO, Feb 9 (Reuters) – The dollar held to a swathe of gains on Monday after robust U.S. jobs data helped rekindle views that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates as early as June.
Data released on Friday showed a rebound in U.S. wages and nonfarm payrolls increasing by 257,000 in January, outstripping Wall Street forecasts.
The dollar stood little changed at 119.07 yen after scaling a one-month high of 119.23 overnight. The dollar index, an indication of its performance against a basket of key currencies, was also little changed, at 94.664 after gaining 0.2 percent the previous session.
Sterling was down 0.1 percent at $ 1.5234, adding to Friday’s 0.5 percent loss.
The solid jobs report and the sharp spike in U.S. Treasury yields it triggered helped put the greenback on a surer footing.
The dollar sagged last week as a run of poor economic indicators toned down expectations of the Fed tightening monetary policy for the first time since 2006.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury note yield jumped to as high as 1.965 percent on Friday, its highest since Jan. 12.
With the closely-watched U.S. jobs data out of the way, market focus is expected to return to the ongoing Greek debt saga and its potentially jarring impact.
Leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras laid out plans on Sunday to dismantle Greece’s “cruel” austerity programme, ruling out any extension of its international bailout and setting himself on a collision course with his European partners.
“Developments in Europe will remain in focus this week, such as the Eurogroup meeting and European Council meeting. Improvements in risk sentiment resulting from these events should buoy dollar/yen, while, signs of further confusion will have the opposite impact by damaging risk appetite,” said Shinichiro Kadota, chief Japan FX strategist at Barclays in Tokyo.
Euro zone finance ministers meet at the Eurogroup gathering on Wednesday, at which the Greek finance minister has said he will present a comprehensive proposal. The European Council meeting takes place the following day.
The euro has experienced wide swings this month, as hopes that Greece could win swift relief from its creditors alternated with worries a deal cannot be reached, raising the prospect of Greece exiting the euro. The euro was steady at $ 1.1312, having shed about 1.5 percent over the previous session in wake of the U.S. jobs data.
The Australian dollar was knocked as data released on Sunday renewed worries about slowing growth in China, a major trading partner.
The Aussie was down 0.4 percent at $ 0.7773, edging back towards a six-year low of $ 0.7627 hit a week ago when the Reserve Bank of Australia eased monetary policy.
(Editing by Eric Meijer)
- Federal Reserve