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Dollar rallies toward biggest weekly gain since June

Published 08/05/2021, 09:54 PM
Updated 08/06/2021, 03:41 PM
© Reuters. A U.S. one dollar banknote is seen in front of displayed stock graph in this illustration taken May 7, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
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By David Henry

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The dollar rose sharply on Friday, boosted by a strong U.S. jobs report toward its biggest weekly gain in seven weeks.

The report showed jobs grew more than expected in July, pushing bond yields higher on the view that the Federal Reserve may act more quickly to tighten U.S. monetary policy.

The dollar index against major currencies was up nearly 0.6% at 92.776 at 3:06 p.m. ET (1906 GMT).

Against the safe havens of the Japanese yen and Swiss franc, the dollar had its biggest daily gains since June, reflecting a risk-on tone as well as the appeal of higher U.S. interest rates.

The report on U.S. nonfarm payrolls showed jobs increased by 943,000 in July compared with the 870,000 forecast by economists polled by Reuters.

The news rekindled dollar momentum, grounded in the middle of the week by statements from Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida suggesting that conditions for hiking interest rates might be met as soon as late 2022.

Fed officials have said that improving employment is critical to when they begin to pull back further on extra support they provided for the economy during the pandemic.

Clarida's remarks lifted Treasury yields after five weeks of declines, while "real" yields, excluding inflation, are set to snap a six-week streak of declines.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note touched 1.3%, up from 1.18% on Monday.

The greenback rose 0.9% against the Swiss franc and 0.4% on the Japanese yen, which traded at 110.215 to the dollar.

The euro fell 0.6% to $1.1759, pressured early in the session by weaker than expected German industrial orders data.

The British pound fell nearly 0.4% to $1.3878.

In contrast to the U.S. payroll report, in Canada a domestic employment report showed far fewer jobs added in July than expected. The greenback rose 0.4% to 1.2555 Canadian dollars.

Analysts have cautioned it will take more evidence than one jobs report to push U.S. yields significantly higher again. Friday's yield remained nearly one-half a percentage point lower than at the end of March.

Reactions to monthly jobs reports have changed often this year in days following release of the data, strategists at Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) Securities found when they looked at the 10-year Treasury yield.

Markets will next be watching for comments from Fed policymakers at the symposium of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming late this month.

Big moves across exchange rates are unlikely until Fed officials signal readiness to lead other central banks in pulling back economic support, said Joseph Trevisani, senior analyst at fxstreet.com.

"The Fed is pumping far more money into the U.S. economy and, by diffusion, to the rest of the world than anybody else," Trevisani said.

When Fed policy makers are confident in U.S. employment gains to raise interest rates, the global economy could be strong enough to bolster riskier currencies instead of the dollar.

A recent Reuters poll of strategists showed most predicting a dollar fall over the next year.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A U.S. dollar banknote is seen in this illustration REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

"We're in the phase in the business cycle where growth and global trade are going to remain relatively solid, and that's going to provide some downside bias for the dollar," said Vasilieos Gkionakis, global head of FX strategy at Lombard Odier Group.

Cryptocurrency bitcoin was up 5% to $42,870 on Friday afternoon in New York. Ether gained 3% to $2,924.

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