The Australian dollar surged after stronger-than-estimated jobs data, leading gains against the U.S. currency amid receding prospects for early Federal Reserve interest rate increases. Gold rose and energy shares jumped after oil in New York climbed to a 2015 high.
The Aussie strengthened 1 percent by 12:50 p.m. in Tokyo, helping drag the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index 0.2 percent lower. The euro added 0.2 percent and South Korea’s won climbed 0.8 percent. Gold rose 0.1 percent, while tin advanced 1.3 percent. A gauge of Asian energy companies jumped 2.7 percent after U.S. oil surged Wednesday. Chinese shares increased and U.S. equity-index futures were little changed.
Bets on Fed rate increases have been pushed back amid signs the U.S. economy is struggling to overcome the stronger dollar and slumping oil. Australia added 37,700 jobs in March, more than twice the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg. China must focus on boosting competitiveness and spurring domestic demand, rather than devaluing its currency to encourage growth, Premier Li Keqiang told the Financial Times in an interview.