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Dollar set for positive week ahead of monthly jobs report

Published 01/05/2024, 04:13 AM
© Reuters.
- - The U.S. dollar gained in early European trade Friday, on course for its strongest week since July ahead of the release of the widely-watched monthly official jobs report.

At 04:10 ET (09:10 GMT), the Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, traded 0.3% higher at 102.410, set for a weekly gain of around 1.3%.

Dollar set for strong weekly gains

The dollar has rebounded sharply this week as economic resilience has prompted traders to scale back expectations that the Federal Reserve could begin cutting interest rates as early as the first quarter of 2024.

Data released on Thursday showed that U.S. private employers added far more roles than expected in December, with ADP private payrolls coming in at 164,000 last month, rising from a downwardly revised mark of 101,000 in November.

On Wednesday, separate data from the Labor Department showed that the number of people quitting their jobs fell to its lowest level since 2021 in November, while U.S. job openings also dropped to an almost three-year low.

These numbers serve as a precursor to the all-important nonfarm payrolls report due later this session, which could offer further insight into the U.S. jobs picture. 

“The start of 2024 FX trading has been characterised by a modest reversal of some of the very benign, pro-risk trends that dominated late last year,” said analysts at ING, in a note. 

“At the heart of the story is the consensus view of a U.S. soft landing, where inflation back on target can allow the Federal Reserve to bring rates back to some kind of normal level without the economy needing to contract sharply.”

Euro edges lower ahead of eurozone CPI

In Europe, EUR/USD traded 0.3% lower at 1.0913, on track for 1% decline in the week, snapping a run of three weeks of gains. 

German retail sales fell 2.5% on the month in November, a sharp retreat after a gain of 1.1% the previous month, but the focus Friday will be on the release of the December eurozone CPI later in the session.

The headline prints for France and Germany both crept higher earlier in the week, and the eurozone figure is expected to have risen to 3.0% on an annual basis, up from 2.4% in November.

GBP/USD fell 0.1% to 1.2664, on course for a loss of around 0.5% this week, with sterling helped to a degree by data from Halifax showing average U.K. house prices rose for the third straight month in December to their highest level since March 2023.

Yen close to three-week low

Elsewhere, USD/JPY traded 0.4% higher to 145.12, with the yen close to its weakest level in more than three weeks, as sentiment towards Japan was also dented by a devastating earthquake in the country. 

USD/CNY edged lower to 7.1564, with the yuan set to lose nearly 1% this week, as sentiment towards China remained largely negative. 

Still, more weakness in the yuan was held back by a series of stronger daily midpoint fixes by the People’s Bank of China. 


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