Dollar gains on solid February U.S. jobs report

A A A - - The dollar moved higher against most major currencies on Friday after data revealed the U.S. economy created more payrolls than expected in February.

In U.S. trading on Friday, EUR/USD was up 0.05% at 1.3867.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported earlier that the U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs in February, beating expectations for a 149,000 increase.

January's figure was revised up to 129,000 from 113,000.

The U.S. private sector added 162,000 jobs last month, exceeding expectations for a 154,000 rise. January's figure was revised up to 145,000 from 142,000.

The report also showed that the U.S. unemployment rate ticked up to 6.7% in February, from 6.6% the previous month. Analysts had expected the unemployment rate to remain unchanged last month.

Meanwhile, data also showed that the U.S. trade deficit expanded to $39.1 billion in January, from $38.98 billion in December, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated deficit of $38.7 billion.

Analysts had expected the trade deficit to expand to $39.00 billion in January.

The data sent the dollar gaining, as the Federal Reserve has said it will pay close attention to data when deciding on how quickly it will dismantle its monthly bond-buying program.

Fed bond purchases, currently set at $65 billion a month, weaken the dollar by suppressing interest rates that aim to spur recovery by encouraging investing and hiring.

Still, dollar didn't soar, as many investors have already priced in expectations for the Fed to continue winding down stimulus measures as the year unfolds.

Meanwhile in the euro zone, official data earlier showed that German industrial production rose 0.8% in January, more than the expected 0.7% increase. Industrial production in December was revised up to a 0.1% gain from a previously estimated 0.6% fall.

Elsewhere, the dollar was up against the yen, with USD/JPY up 0.24% at 103.32, and down against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF down 0.29% at 0.8778.

The greenback was up against the pound, with GBP/USD down 0.10% at 1.6722.

The dollar was up against its cousins in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with USD/CAD up 1.04% at 1.1096, AUD/USD down 0.25% at 0.9067 and NZD/USD down 0.19% at 0.8460.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.09% at 79.74. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.
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This article appears in: Investing , Forex and Currencies

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