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Currencies: Euro climbs against dollar for 3rd straight week

NEW YORK (MarketWatch)—The euro cemented its third straight week of gains against the dollar Friday after a surprisingly weak nonfarm payrolls report.

The report helped the euro climb 1% against the dollar in light trading. Stock markets in the U.S. and Europe were closed for Good Friday.

Read: Light volume doesn’t skew currency rates on Good Friday

The Department of Labor said the U.S. economy added 126,000 jobs in March, missing a consensus forecast for 243,000 from a MarketWatch poll of analysts.

The data likely took a June Federal-funds rate increase off the table, and even cast doubt on the a September hike, said Matt Weller, senior technical analyst at

“Honestly I would describe it as abysmal all around,” Weller said of the report.

Read: U.S. jobs growth in March slumps to 15-month low

In a note to clients released after the data, analysts at BTIG said a recent string of weak U.S. economic data, most recently the March ISM manufacturing index reading and the ADP jobs number released Wednesday, fostered the expectation that the number would likely miss official forecasts.

“While the actual number was much less than expected (and downward revisions to prior months reduced job growth by over 60K), a weak number is not a total surprise given these “warnings,” the analysts said.

The euro was EURUSD, +0.90%  trading at $ 1.0977, off its session high of $ 1.1027. It traded at $ 1.0880 late Thursday.

Average hourly wages rose by 0.3%, which several analysts said was the report’s only positive.

The dollar USDJPY, -0.63%  was at ¥118.96, compared with ¥119.70 late Thursday in New York.

The WSJ Dollar Index BUXX, -0.71% a measure of the dollar against a basket of major currencies, was down 1% at 86.35. The ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY, -0.81% a measure of the buck’s strength against six rivals, rose 0.2% to 96.7530.

On Tuesday, the ICE index recorded a 9% increase for the first quarter of 2015, its strongest showing since the third quarter of 2008, as the dollar gained ground against the euro, but retreated slightly against the yen.

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