Forex - Dollar gains on U.S. jobs data, G7 policy uncertainty

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Investing.com - The U.S. dollar extended Thursday's gains against most major currencies into Friday after official data revealed far less individuals filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week than expected.

The dollar also saw demand among investors seeking safe harbor ahead of a Group of Seven meeting of finance ministers and central bankers in the U.K. this weekend.

In U.S. trading on Friday, EUR/USD was down 0.48% at 1.2979.

The Department of Labor reported on Thursday that the number of individuals filing initial jobless claims in the U.S. last week fell by 4,000 to 323,000, defying expectations for an increase of 8,000 to 335,000.

The report allayed fears that the U.S. economy may be hitting a soft patch and prompt the Federal Reserve to keep monetary stimulus programs in place for longer.

Stimulus tools, such as the Fed's monthly USD85 billion bond-buying program, weaken the greenback to spur recovery.

Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that U.S. economy added 165,000 nonfarm payrolls in April, up from 138,000 in March, whose figure was revised up from 88,000.

April's figures far outpaced analysts' forecasts for a 145,000 figure.

The dollar also saw support as a meeting of G7 finance ministers kicked off, with investors eagerly awaiting hints as to when monetary stimulus programs may unwind and when fiscal reforms may take place on a global basis.

The greenback, meanwhile, was up against the pound, with GBP/USD trading down 0.65% at 1.5350.

In the U.K. earlier, official data revealed the trade deficit narrowed less than expected in March, coming in at GBP9.1 billion from a GBP9.2 billion deficit the previous month.

Analysts were expecting the trade deficit to narrow to GBP9.0 billion in March.

The dollar was up against the yen, with USD/JPY up 0.95% at 101.58, and up against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF trading up 1.04% at 0.9581.

The dollar was up against its cousins in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with USD/CAD up 0.47% at 1.0115, AUD/USD down 0.81% at 1.0009 and NZD/USD trading down 1.08% at 0.8300.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.58% at 83.26.

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This article appears in: Investing , Forex and Currencies

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