Dollar holds steady vs. rivals ahead of nonfarm payrolls


Shutterstock photo - - The dollar was steady against the other major currencies on Friday, as investors remained cautious ahead of the release of a highly-anticipated U.S. nonfarm payrolls report due later in the day.

The dollar was little changed against the euro, with EUR/USD down 0.04% to 1.3862.

The euro found some support after data showed that the unemployment rate in the euro zone remained unchanged at 11.8% in March, confounding expectations for a rise to 11.9%. March's figure was revised down from a previously estimated rate of 11.9%.

Separately, Markit said Germany's manufacturing purchasing managers' index slipped to 54.1 last month, from a reading of 54.2 in March. Analysts had expected the index to remain unchanged in April.

In Italy however, the manufacturing PMI rose to a 35-month high of 54.0 last month, from a reading of 52.4 in March, while Spain's manufacturing PMI ticked down to 52.7 in April, from a reading of 52.8 the previous month.

The final euro zone manufacturing PMI ticked up to 53.4 in April, from 53.3 in March. Analysts had expected the index to remain unchanged last month.

The pound was also steady against the dollar, with GBP/USD dipping 0.05% to 1.6884.

Earlier Friday, Markit said the U.K. construction PMI fell to 60.8 in April, from a reading of 62.5 the previous monh. Analysts had expected the index to tick down to 62.0 last month.

The pound had rallied to its highest level since August 2009 against the dollar on Thursday, after data showed that manufacturing activity in the U.K. expanded at the fastest rate in five months in April, bolstering the outlook for the wider recovery.

A recent string of upbeat reports about the U.K. economy has raised expectations the Bank of England could raise borrowing costs ahead of other central banks.

The dollar was higher against the yen, with USD/JPY adding 0.13% to 102.46 and little changed against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF inching up 0.05% to 0.8797.

In Japan, data showed that household spending rose 7.2% in March compared to a year earlier, after a 2.5% drop the previous month. Analysts had expected household spending to rise 1.0% in March.

Meanwhile, a report showed that the Swiss SVME PMI rose to 55.8 last month, from a reading of 54.4 in March, compared to expectations for a rise to 55.5.

The greenback was steady to higher against the Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars, with AUD/USD down 0.01% to 0.9271, NZD/USD edging 0.07% higher to 0.8639 and USD/CAD up 0.10% to 1.0972.

In Australia, official data showed that producer price inflation rose 0.9% in the first quarter, more than the expected 0.6% gain, after a 0.2% uptick in the three months to December.

The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.05% to 79.62.

Investors were looking ahead to the upcoming April nonfarm payrolls report, which was expected to show that the recovery in the labor market was continuing. 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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