By Gina Lee
Investing.com – The dollar was up on Friday morning in Asia, continuing its small upwards moves as 2021 wraps up.
The U.S. Dollar Index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies inched up 0.08% to 96.040 by 10:44 PM ET (3:44 AM GMT).
The USD/JPY pair inched up 0.03% to 115.09.
The USD/CNY pair inched up 0.08% to 6.3743. Chinese data released earlier in the day showed that December’s manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) was 50.3, while the non-manufacturing PMI was 52.7. Both figures were above the 50-mark indicating growth.
China’s debt-ridden property sector, and some initial coupon payment deadlines for Kaisa Group Holdings Ltd.'s (HK: 1638 ) (HK:1638) dollar bonds, in particular, were also in investors’ radars.
The GBP/USD pair inched up 0.02% to 1.3497.
Japanese markets closed for the day. with Australian markets due to have an early end to the day. Volumes were thin in the last trading day of 2021 for some markets, meaning that moves were likely to be more exaggerated.
U.S. data released on Thursday showed that initial jobless claims fell to 198,000 last week, with the job market seemingly undented by the spread of the omicron COVID-19 variant. The data also said that the Chicago PMI was a higher-than-expected 63.1 for December.
COVID-19 will continue to be a key factor in investors' outlook, as the number of global COVID-19 cases continues to surge. The number topped 286 million as of Dec. 31, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
However, some investors downplayed the variant’s impact.
“The market is blasé about many of the risks emanating from omicron right now in terms of growth and the supply chain,” ForexLive chief currency analyst Adam Button told CNBC.
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