Dollar slumps but narrows losses on jobs data, braces for retail report

A A A - The greenback traded lower against major currencies on Monday thought it narrowed its losses as investors avoided the currency after the U.S. December jobs report disappointed and rekindled expectations for the Federal Reserve to take its time dismantling stimulus programs.

U.S. trading on Monday, EUR/USD was up 0.01% at 1.3670.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday reported that the U.S. economy added 74,000 jobs in December, well below expectations for a 196,000 increase and below an upwardly revised 241,000 rise the previous month.

The report also showed that the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 6.7% in December due to a weak participation rate, down from 7.0% in November. Analysts had expected the rate to remain unchanged last month.

The numbers weakened the dollar by fueling expectations for the Federal Reserve to trim its USD75 billion monthly bond-buying program at a slower pace than once expected, though by Monday, sentiments grew that overall, the U.S. economy continues to recover and still remains in less need of monetary support.

Investor opinions that the December jobs report may be an anomaly and the product of bad winter weather that put off hiring also cushioned the greenback's declines.

Fed asset purchases tend to weaken the dollar by suppressing long-term interest rates, and expectations for further tapering of such ultra-loose policies tend to strengthen the greenback.

Still, the dollar remained under pressure amid uncertainty ahead of Tuesday's release of U.S. retail sales, with concerns that a disappointing figure just days after a poor jobs report will increase the chances of a more gradual Fed tapering.

The greenback was up against the pound, with GBP/USD down 0.61% at 1.6382.

The dollar was down against the yen, with USD/JPY down 1.17% at 102.95, and down against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF down 0.31% at 0.8996.

The dollar was down against its cousins in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with USD/CAD down 0.35% at 1.0855, AUD/USD up 0.68% at 0.9058 and NZD/USD trading up 0.80% at 0.8370.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.14% at 80.62.

On Tuesday, the U.S. is to produce data on retail sales as well as data on import prices and business inventories.

Also Tuesday, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Charles Plosser and Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher are to speak. 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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