Sun, Aug 06, 2017 - Page 14 News List

US dollar index surges on jobs data, Cohn comments

Reuters, NEW YORK

The US dollar on Friday posted its biggest one-day gain against a basket of major currencies so far this year after a strong US payrolls report for last month and comments from National Economic Council director Gary Cohn about lowering the US corporate tax rate.

The US dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major rivals, jumped about 1 percent to a one-week high of 93.774 after the US Department of Labor said non-farm payrolls increased by 209,000 jobs last month and Cohn’s comments.

The index rose 0.6 percent from last week’s 93.26.

Cohn told Bloomberg TV on Friday that the 35 percent US corporate tax rate should be more in line with the 24 percent average rate among other countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The jobs figure beat expectations of economists polled by Reuters for a gain of 183,000, while average hourly earnings increased 0.3 percent to match expectations after rising 0.2 percent in June.

Analysts said traders who had bet against or “shorted” the US dollar — a popular bet as the US dollar index last month posted its biggest monthly drop since March last year — were being forced to repurchase the currency after the jobs data and Cohn’s remarks.

“The jobs number was solid,” said Alvise Marino, foreign-exchange strategist at Credit Suisse Group AG in New York.

He also said Cohn’s comments revived traders’ focus on potential tax reform.

The US dollar index posted its biggest one-day percentage increase since Dec. 15.

In Taipei, the New Taiwan dollar rose against the greenback, gaining NT$0.007 to close at NT$30.220. The NT dollar rose 0.3 percent against the US dollar from last week’s NT$30.302.

The euro on Friday fell more than 1 percent against the US dollar to a four-day low of US$1.1729 before ending the session at US$1.7728. The common currency is up 1.2 percent against the greenback from last week’s US$1.1751.

Against the yen, the US dollar gained as much as 0.9 percent to a one-week high of ¥111.04, rising off seven-week lows. For the week, the greenback fell 0.7 percent against the yen.

The dollar touched 0.9763 francs, its highest against the Swiss currency in more than six weeks.

The US dollar has suffered in recent months, largely on increased doubts that the US Federal Reserve would raise interest rates again this year and obstacles to US President Donald Trump’s agenda, which is seen by investors as pro-growth.

Additional reporting by CNA, with staff writer

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