The dollar rose in Asia Friday in subdued trading ahead of the Easter holidays and U.S. jobs data being released later in the day.
The dollar was trading at 118.84 yen midafternoon, up from 118.68 yen late Thursday in New York. The euro fell to US$1.3414 from US$1.3427.
Hiroshi Imaizumi, a senior dealer at Resona Bank, said traders were selling the yen because Japanese interest rates are lower than those in Europe and the U.S.
"It appears that many players are becoming less concerned about another global downturn in stocks," he said. "They are again trading currencies with their focus on interest-rate differentials."
The market was awaiting U.S. employment data for trading clues. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires expect U.S. employers, excluding farmers, hired 150,000 workers in March, after adding 97,000 jobs the previous month.
Despite fears about a U.S. economic slowdown, the dollar is expected to start climbing toward 120 yen, if the jobs data are better than expected, said Tohru Sasaki, chief foreign-exchange strategist at JPMorgan Chase Bank in Tokyo.
Some regional currencies were untraded Friday, but the dollar rose to 33.083 Taiwan dollar from 33.080 and slipped to 931.6 South Korean won from 933.0.
Representatives of the Israeli Defence Ministry responded to recent reports about the possible delivery of S-300 SAM systems from Russia to Syria. Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel would destroy those systems
Russia is to start supplying S-300 air defence systems to Syria in the near future. The shipments will be conducted free of charge