Currencies: Dollar extends drop vs. euro after payrolls-inspired selloff

The euro edged higher versus the dollar Monday, extending gains scored Friday after weaker-than-expected nonfarm payrolls data saw investors push back expectations for a rate hike by the Federal Reserve.

The euro EURUSD, +0.55%  traded at $ 1.0991, up from $ 1.0972 in North American trade late Friday. The U.S. currency USDJPY, -0.04%  was up versus the Japanese yen at ¥119.07 compared with ¥118.93 late Friday in New York.

The ICE dollar index DXY, -0.16% a measure of the U.S. currency against a basket of six major rivals, was up 0.1% at 96.651.

Trading activity in Asia and Europe was subdued, with many traders still away from their desks for the Easter vacation and other public holidays. The dollar found downside support against the yen to stabilize above ¥119 following Friday’s losses.

Japanese importers and institutional investors were among the investors eager to buy the greenback on dips. Market participants also noted some indirect support for the dollar against the yen via selling of the Japanese currency against the euro.

Friday’s tumble in the dollar was the biggest fall in almost two weeks following U.S. labor data for March that showed nonfarm payrolls grew by 126,000, about half the increase forecast by economists in a Wall Street Journal survey.

Read: Poor jobs report blurs economic outlook

“There is speculation that the consensus about a U.S. rate increase is now being pushed back to December from September,” a change in views that could lower the dollar in currency trade, said Mizuho Securities FX strategist Kenji Yoshii.

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Even so, Yoshii said he didn’t “get the impression that the USD is falling very much.” He added that larger falls in the dollar are likely being prevented by a cycle in which a weaker dollar causes U.S. stocks to rise, suggesting greater buoyancy in risk-taking sentiment that results in selling away from the perceived safety of the yen and a stronger dollar.

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IG Securities market analyst Juniichi Ishikawa said in a note that the dollar could fall below ¥118 if U.S. stocks soften this week. Mr. Ishikawa said the reaction of U.S. shares to Friday’s downbeat labor data could push the dollar down against the yen later Monday if the shares fall. U.S. indicators, including today’s ISM non-manufacturing business index, and U.S. corporate earnings will also be under the spotlight this week.

“We are going to have a week of closely monitoring the after effects of the lackluster U.S. data and the impact of (U.S.) quarterly earnings,” he said.

The WSJ Dollar Index BUXX, -0.35% a measure of the dollar against a basket of major currencies, was donw 0.1% at 86.54.

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