Dollar, Yen Fall on Signs of Manufacturing Growth

The dollar and yen weakened before a report that may show a U.S. manufacturing index rose for a fourth straight month and after a similar gauge in China showed an expansion, sapping demand for haven assets.

Higher-yielding currencies such as the Australian and New Zealand dollars rose after Japanese companies’ capital spending jumped by the most in almost five years in the fourth quarter, brightening the outlook for global growth. Demand for the euro was limited before European Union leaders meet in Brussels today to discuss the region’s debt crisis.

“Risk-on sentiment is definitely on the table at the moment,” said Justin Harper, head of research in Singapore at IG Markets. “You’re seeing the U.S. dollar, the yen -- safe havens -- start to show some pressure there as people think things are maybe getting better.”

The dollar slid 0.1 percent to $1.3341 per euro at 10:43 a.m. in Tokyo from the close in New York yesterday. The U.S. currency was little changed at 81.18 yen. The yen weakened 0.2 percent to 108.31 per euro.

Australia’s dollar gained 0.3 percent to 87.34 yen and climbed 0.2 percent to $1.0758. New Zealand’s currency added 0.3 percent to 67.88 yen. It bought 83.63 U.S. cents, 0.3 percent higher than its close yesterday.

The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index rose to an eight-month high of 54.5 from 54.1 in January, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News before the data today. Readings above 50 signal growth. A separate report today may show consumer purchases in the world’s largest economy increased 0.4 percent in January.

China’s purchasing managers’ index rose to 51.0 from 50.5 in January, China’s statistics bureau and logistics federation said in a statement today. Japan’s capital spending excluding software rose 4.9 percent from a year earlier in the final three months of 2011, after declining 11 percent in the previous quarter, the Finance Ministry said today in Tokyo.

To contact the reporters on this story: Monami Yui in Tokyo at myui1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rocky Swift at rswift5@bloomberg.net

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