By Gina Lee
Investing.com – The dollar was up on Friday morning in Asia, rallying from its losses during the previous session.
Investors turned to the safe-haven asset after U.S. data said that 1.877 million Americans claimed unemployment during the previous week, higher than the forecasted 1.8 million claims.
The U.S. Dollar Index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies gained 0.11% to 96.765 by 11:42 PM ET (4:42 AM GMT).
Investors are now looking to Friday’s non-farm payrolls report, due to be released later in the day. Payrolls are forecast to fall by 8 million.
But optimism over a global economic recovery from COVID-19 continues to remain high, with investors expecting further stimulus measures from governments and the expected development of a COVID-19 vaccine to further boost economic recovery.
According to Johns Hopkins University data, there are over 6.6 million COVID-19 cases and almost 400,000 deaths globally as of June 5.
The USD/JPY pair was up 0.05% to 109.18, and the USD/CNY pair gained a modest 0.01% to 7.1081.
The AUD/USD pair was up 0.08% to 0.6947 and the NZD/USD pair jumped 0.11% to 0.6469.
The GBP/USD pair held steady at 1.2595.
Meanwhile, Asian risk currencies such as the AUD basked in the aftermath of the European Central Bank on Thursday increasing the size of its Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program (PEPP).
ECB will now spend EUR1.35 trillion ($1.521 trillion), up from EUR 750 billion, to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19. The program has also been extended to at least June 2021, and ECB pledged to reinvest the proceeds until the end of 2022 at the earliest.