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Dollar in wait-and-see mode ahead of U.S. jobs report

Dollar in wait-and-see mode ahead of U.S. jobs report

The dollar trod water on Friday as traders awaited a closely watched monthly U.S. labor market report that should provide clues as to whether the world’s biggest economy will bounce back after a lackluster second quarter.

The greenback was flat on the week against a basket of major currencies .DXY, having fallen 2 percent last week its worst showing since April on a much weaker than expected set of U.S. growth data and on a statement from the Federal Reserve that failed to give a clear signal of a near-term rate rise.

On Friday it inched down 0.1 percent to 95.676, having hit a five-week low of 95.003 at the start of the week.

Sterling edged up 0.2 percent to $1.3128 GBP=D4, finding a foothold after a 1.6 percent fall on Thursday after the Bank of England surprised markets with a larger-than-expected monetary stimulus package.

The U.S non-farm payrolls report (NFP) is due at 12.30 GMT, with economists polled by Reuters expecting 180,000 jobs to have been added in July. ECONUS

“Everyone’s waiting for the NFP – they have been all week,” said Commerzbank currency strategist Esther Reichelt, from Frankfurt.

“It is particularly in focus because of the weak GDP data last week, which led to a lot of disappointment and also the repricing of rate expectations. Now everyone is waiting for some signal of whether the U.S. economy is really in such a bad state, or whether there is hope that Q3 is going to be better.”

A strong NFP reading could help the dollar by reviving expectations that the Fed could raise interest rates by year-end – a scenario that had been discarded in the days that followed Britain’s shock vote to leave the European Union in June.

Elsewhere, the Australian dollar rose 0.4 percent to a three-week high of $0.7663 AUD=D3. For the week, the Aussie has gained 0.7 percent, showing resilience even after the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) cut interest rates to a record low 1.5 percent on Tuesday.

Recent firmness in iron ore prices and a search for yield among investors have helped support the Australian dollar, said Roy Teo, senior FX strategist for ABN AMRO Bank in Singapore.

“But the higher the Australian dollar goes, the risk of RBA cutting rates will increase,” Teo said, adding that such prospects could offer an opportunity to sell into the Aussie’s rally.

Against the yen, the dollar slipped 0.1 percent to 101.15 yen JPY=, not far from the greenback’s three-week low of 100.68 yen set on Tuesday.

Courtesy : reuters.com



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