The dollar rallied against the yen in Asia Friday as investors digested mixed US data, while weak eurozone manufacturing pressured the euro. In midday Tokyo trade, the greenback fetched 102.47 yen, from 102.32 yen in New York Thursday. The euro also rose to 140.55 yen against 140.37 yen, while it was nearly flat at $1.3719 against $1.3718 in US trade, after a key measure of eurozone business activity weakened slightly. The Markit Economics eurozone purchasing managers index for February fell to 52.7 points from 52.9 in January, against expectations of a slight increase.
“It suggests that the eurozone recovery lost a little traction in February, although the services data were slightly better,” National Australia Bank said. On Wall Street, investors took comfort from gains in Markit´s US purchasing managers index, while new jobless claims fell last week, although not as much as expected. The data offered some good news after new US home construction and building permits plunged more than expected in January amid severe winter weather in large parts of the country.