Sun, May 07, 2017 - Page 14 News List

US dollar declines against the euro as French vote weighs

Reuters, NEW YORK

The US dollar on Friday hit its lowest level against the euro in roughly six months after a sharp rebound in US jobs growth last month was not enough to offset investors’ bullishness toward the euro ahead of the final round of France’s presidential election.

US non-farm payrolls surged by 211,000 jobs last month, the US Department of Labor said, beating expectations of economists polled by Reuters for a gain of 185,000.

However, payrolls growth in March was revised downward to 79,000 from 98,000 and the labor force participation rate dipped slightly to 62.9 percent from 63 percent.

The US dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, but the majority of whose weighting is against the euro, was down 0.1 percent at 98.655 after touching a roughly six-month low of 98.593 after the jobs data.

For the week, the index is down 0.4 percent, for a fourth straight weekly decline.

The euro gained 0.8 percent against the US dollar for the week, in a fourth straight weekly rise.

Against the yen, the US dollar gained 1 percent for a third straight weekly rise.

In Taipei, the New Taiwan dollar fell NT$0.042 against the greenback to close at NT$30.182. The NT dollar edged up 0.1 percent from last week’s NT$30.218 against the US dollar.

Analysts said traders are anticipating that the euro will get a boost if, as expected, centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron defeats anti-EU candidate Marine Le Pen in today’s French election.

They also said the weaker March jobs figure and labor force participation rate in the US gave traders an excuse to continue holding the euro.

The euro hit US$1.0999, its highest level since early November last year, in the wake of the US jobs data, and a comeback from a 14-year low of US$1.0339 touched in early January.

“People were looking for a Macron victory, the end of event risk from the French election, for that to push us through US$1.10,” BMO Capital Markets global head of foreign-exchange strategy Greg Anderson said. “There’s nothing in the payrolls data that is going to blow them out of the water from that.”

The US dollar on Friday rose slightly against the yen and was up 0.1 percent for the day at ¥112.60, but remained below Thursday’s roughly seven-week high of ¥113.04.

Analysts said the US dollar remained at elevated levels against the yen because the US jobs data did little to challenge the view that the US Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in June.

Additional reporting by CNA

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