(January 05, 2018) The dollar remained higher against other major currencies on Friday, as investors were eyeing the release of highly-anticipated U.S. employment data due later in the day.
The greenback came under pressure after the release of mixed U.S. economic reports on Thursday.
Payrolls processor ADP reported on Thursday that U.S. private employers added 250,000 jobs in December, well above economists’ expectations.
A separate report showed that U.S. jobless claims increased by 3,000 last week to 250,000, disappointing expectations for a 6,000 decline.
The U.S. dollar briefly recovered after Fed policymakers acknowledged, in the minutesof the Federal Reserve’s December meeting released Wednesday, that the U.S. labor market and economic activity remain strong, despite persistently low inflation.
The minutes seemed to suggest that the central bank will continue to raise rates gradually but the pace could pick up if inflation rises.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.17% at 91.77 by 05:15 a.m. ET (09:15 GMT).
The euro and the pound turned lower, with EUR/USD down 0.12% at 1.2052 and with GBP/USD easing 0.08% to 1.3536.
Data earlier showed that euro zone inflation fell in line with expectations in December, while another report showed that German retail sales increased more than expected in November.
The yen and the Swiss franc remained weaker, with USD/JPY up 0.39% at 113.18 and with USD/CHF gaining 0.31% to 0.9769.
Elsewhere, the Australian dollar remained lower, with AUD/USD down 0.15% at 0.7852, while NZD/USD held steady at 0.7158.
Earlier Friday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said that the country’s trade deficit widened to A$628 million in November from A$302 million in October, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated A$105 million.
Analysts had expected the trade deficit to widen to only A$550 million in November.
Meanwhile, USD/CAD edged up 0.10% to 1.2502.