New York: The dollar slipped on Friday after a solid but below-expectation October US jobs report as investors took some profits on the greenback’s months-long rally that has seen it reach multi-year highs in anticipation of tighter US monetary policy next year.
Jobs growth in the United States increased at a fairly brisk pace last month, adding 214,000 nonfarm jobs, which was under economists’ forecasts for 231,000 new jobs. The unemployment rate dropped to 5.8 per cent, a fresh six-year low.
“The reaction to the data is an indication that the market is running tired of the dollar up move. The market is quite long of dollars and needs perfection to move higher. This data, if we had seen this three months ago, would have the dollar rallying.
This is a solid report,” said Greg Anderson, global head of FX strategy for BMO Capital Markets in New York.
A tightening monetary policy environment in the United States would put the dollar at a yield advantage against its counterparts as investors hunt for better returns.
Currency markets gyrated after the report, with the euro slipping briefly to a fresh 26-month low at $1.2357/sbefore rebounding to a gain of 0.22 per cent on the day at $1.2400. For the week, however, the euro is down 1 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters data.
“The main takeaway (of the US jobs data) is that despite weak growth abroad and some turbulence at home, we are still creating jobs at a healthy rate, and the underlying conditions continue to improve,” said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer at Commonwealth Financial Network in Waltham, Massachusetts.
The euro is plumbing these lows following Thursday’s renewed pledge by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi to take the steps necessary to support the struggling euro zone economy.
Draghi said ECB members all stand ready to take more policy action if needed, shrugging off reports of internal rifts over starting such a program.
“The ECB increased its dovish rhetoric, including a reference to its balance sheet size in the bank’s main statement, which suggests there is general agreement on the Governing Council for this emphasis. That will keep the euro under pressure, we believe,” Morgan Stanley said in a note.
The dollar fell 0.20 per cent to 114.95 yen, pulling back from Thursday’s seven-year peak of 115.49 yen, according to Thomson Reuters data.
The Bank of Japan’s renewed vigour at flooding its economy with cash in order to boost inflation and hopefully economic growth has weighed on the yen. The dollar is up 2.3 per cent for the week against the yen.
The US dollar index, measuring the greenback against a basket of currencies, reached a high of 88.19, its best since June 2010 before slipping back to 87.88, a loss of 0.15 per cent on the day. However, the index is up 1.1 per cent for the week and nearly 12 per cent from May.