Dollar climbs further on U.S. December payrolls data

January 8, 2016 09:48 AM

The dollar added gains broadly on Friday as a much stronger-than-expected rise in U.S. payrolls in December revived expectations the Federal Reserve will  raise interest rates by the end of the first quarter.

The U.S. Labor Department said nonfarm payrolls grew by 292,000 last month, compared with an increase of 200,000, as forecast among analysts polled by Reuters.

The jobless rate held steady at a 7-1/2-year low of 5% even as more people entered the labor force, a sign of confidence in the labor market.

However, average hourly earnings were unchanged last month, falling short of the 0.2% rise projected by analysts. The persistent lack of faster wage growth may temper the urgency for Fed policy-makers to raise rates, analysts said.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a group of six currencies was last up 0.8% at 99.049, which was more than half a percentage point below the one-month high set earlier this week.

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