Dollar moves lower but steady on Ukraine unease, Chinese data

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Investing.com - The dollar traded lower though steadily against most major currencies on Monday after weak manufacturing numbers out of China sent investors to the yen, while escalating tensions in Ukraine softened the greenback as well.

In U.S. trading on Monday, EUR/USD was up 0.06% at 1.3877.

Investors were paying close attention to events unfolding in Ukraine, after conflict between the government and pro-Russian separatists grew more widespread and intensified over the weekend, which weakened the dollar on concerns Washington will get dragged deeper into the chaos and stifle recovery.

Elsewhere, soft output data out of China sparked safe-haven demand for the yen, which came at the greenback's expense.

A final reading of China's HSBC manufacturing purchasing managers' index came in at 48.1 April, down from a preliminary estimate of 48.3 and missing forecasts for an uptick to 48.4. A reading below 50 indicates a contraction.

Elsewhere, profit taking from Friday's upbeat jobs report softened the greenback as well.

The dollar firmed last week after the Labor Department reported that the U.S. economy added 288,000 jobs in April, well above expectations for jobs growth of 210,000, while the unemployment rate dropped to a five-and-a-half year low of 6.3%.

Still, concerns that long-term unemployment will remain a problem for the U.S. economy tarnished the otherwise positive jobs report, as the headline jobless rate fell in part due to a drop in the labor force, a sign that many who have been out of work for a long time quit looking for jobs and thus are no longer considered part of the labor pool.

Supporting the U.S. currency, however, was an upbeat report on the U.S. service sector, which kept the dollar stable throughout the session.

In a report, the Institute of Supply Management said its non-manufacturing purchasing managers' index rose to a five-month high of 55.2 in April, from a reading of 53.1 in March, compared to expectations for a rise to 54.1.

The dollar was down against the yen, with USD/JPY down 0.06% at 102.12 and down against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF down 0.03% at 0.8777.

The greenback was up against the pound, with GBP/USD down 0.04% at 1.6868.

The dollar was mixed against its cousins in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with USD/CAD down 0.17% at 1.0955, AUD/USD down 0.02% at 0.9275 and NZD/USD up 0.20% at 0.8681.

The US dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.02% at 79.54.

On Tuesday, the U.S. is to release trade data.

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This article appears in: Investing , Forex and Currencies

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