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Dollar edges higher as jobs data eyed for Fed policy clues

imageEconomy26 minutes ago (Oct 08, 2021 02:25AM ET)

(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Euro, Hong Kong dollar, U.S. dollar, Japanese yen, pound and Chinese 100 yuan banknotes are seen in this picture illustration, January 21, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Lee/Illustration/File Photo

By Kevin Buckland

TOKYO (Reuters) – The dollar edged higher versus major peers on Friday but within a narrow range as traders awaited clues on the pace of Federal Reserve policy normalization from a monthly payrolls report.

The U.S. Dollar Currency Index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six peers, rose 0.1% to 94.278, keeping within sight of last week’s one-year peak of 94.504.

The dollar gained 0.26% to 111.91 yen, and touched 111.93, the highest level this month, helped by higher Treasury yields, with the benchmark 10-year note hitting 1.6010% for the first time since June 4.

The euro consolidated around $1.1550, after dipping on Wednesday to a 14-month low of $1.1529.

The Federal Reserve has said it is likely to begin reducing its monthly bond purchases as soon as November and follow up with interest rate increases potentially next year, as the U.S. central bank’s turn from pandemic crisis policies gains momentum.

Friday’s non-farm payrolls data is expected to show continued improvement in the labour market, with a consensus forecast for 500,000 jobs added in September, although estimates ranged from 250,000 to 700,000, a Reuters poll showed.

Following the September Federal Open Market Committee meeting, Chair Jerome Powell said the upcoming payrolls report need not be “a knock-out, great, super-strong” report to keep policy makers on track toward tapering, but it would need to be “reasonably good”.

Powell’s comment “should make markets more tolerant of a downside surprise in particular, and the balance of risks favours a positive USD reaction” to the jobs data, Adam Cole, the chief currency strategist at RBC Capital Markets, wrote in a research note.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar slipped back 0.22% to $0.7297, following a 0.55% surge on Thursday. It earlier touched $0.7324 for a second day running, the strongest level since Sept. 16.

The Aussie has made “a decent go at breaking higher,” but the test will be whether it can stay about $0.7315 following several failed attempts this year, Rodrigo Catril, senior FX strategist at National Australia Bank (OTC:NABZY) in Sydney, wrote in a client note.

Sterling slipped 0.1% to $1.3600, holding on to most of a 0.26% gain from Thursday, when new Bank of England Chief Economist Huw Pill said inflation pressures were proving stickier than initially thought, reinforcing expectations for a rate hike by February.

The Canadian dollar was little changed at C$1.25515 per greenback after earlier strengthening to a one-month peak of C$1.2534 on the back of rising oil prices.

Dollar edges higher as jobs data eyed for Fed policy clues

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