Dollar remains lower versus majors before U.S. jobs data

U.S. companies kept adding workers last month

Dollar sign, arrows Dollar sign, arrows

The dollar fell for a second day against most of its 16 major counterparts before a private jobs report in the U.S. forecast to show companies added positions.

Demand for the U.S. currency was limited before the Federal Reserve releases its Beige Book report. The euro was little changed against the yen for a third day before European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and his board meet tomorrow. Speculation that central banks will continue stimulus helped spur the Dow Jones Industrial Average to a record in New York. Australia’s currency rose for a second day versus the dollar as data showed economic growth accelerated last quarter.

“The dollar is being sold in a risk-on trade,” said Kazuo Shirai, a trader at Union Bank NA in Los Angeles. “The Dow Average climbed to a record and Treasuries were sold. The market is waiting for the jobs report.”

The dollar traded at $1.3063 per euro as of 11:20 a.m. in Tokyo after falling 0.2 percent to $1.3052 in New York. It weakened 0.2 percent to 93.10 yen from 93.29 yesterday, when it slid 0.2 percent. The euro dropped 0.1 percent to 121.62 yen.

U.S. companies took on more workers last month after adding the most jobs in almost a year in January, figures from the Roseland, New Jersey-based ADP Research Institute will probably show today.

U.S. Jobs

Firms added 170,000 positions in February, following a 192,000 increase the previous month, economists forecast in a Bloomberg News survey. The Labor Department will release its payrolls data on March 8.

The Swedish krona and New Zealand dollar have led gains this week among 10 developed nation currencies tracked by Bloomberg Correlation Weighted Indexes as optimism about growth in the world’s largest economy spurred demand for higher- yielding assets. The Dow closed at a record 14,253.77 yesterday.

The ECB will probably maintain its benchmark rate at 0.75 percent this week, according to a Bloomberg survey. The central bank will also update its December economic forecasts.

The euro area’s gross domestic product probably fell 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter from the previous three-month period, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg before the data today.

Australia’s dollar gained after the nation’s statistics bureau said GDP expanded 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter and revised growth for the previous three months up to 0.7 percent from 0.5 percent previously.

Traders are betting the Reserve Bank of Australia will lower its benchmark 3 percent interest rate by 29 basis points over 12 months, down from wagers on 50 basis points of cuts on March 4, a Credit Suisse Group AG index shows.

“We’ve seen market pricing for more rate cuts by the RBA get pared back and that obviously helps support the Aussie,” said Peter Dragicevich, a Syndey-based currency economist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the nation’s largest lender. The GDP data showed “the previous quarter was revised higher, and the annual rate was lifted, so that’s a good outcome.”

The so-called Aussie rose 0.2 percent to $1.0283 after advancing 0.6 percent yesterday.

Bloomberg News

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