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Dollar close to recent highs vs. euro, yen

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Shutterstock photo - The dollar remained supported close to recent highs against the euro and the yen on Monday as Friday's stronger-than-forecast U.S. nonfarm payrolls data fuelled optimism over the recovery in the world's largest economy.

During European late morning trade, the dollar was little changed near three-month highs against the euro, with EUR/USD dipping 0.02% to 1.2994.

The U.S. economy added 236,000 jobs last month official data on Friday showed, well above expectations for an increase of 160,000. The unemployment rate ticked down to 7.7%, the lowest level since December 2008, from 7.9% in January.

The robust data added to speculation over an earlier-than-expected end to the Federal Reserve's easing program, bolstering demand for the dollar.

The euro remained under pressure following a one-notch downgrade on Italy by ratings agency Fitch in Friday, citing political uncertainty and a deepening recession.

Elsewhere, the dollar was trading close to its highest level in three-and-a-half years against the yen, with USD/JPY edging up 0.04% to 96.07 as expectations for further easing by the Bank of Japan weighed on the yen.

Earlier Monday, incoming BoJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said he would do "whatever is needed" to beat deflation and achieve the 2.0% inflation target adopted by the central bank in January.

The dollar hit fresh two-and-a-half year highs against the pound, with GBP/USD down 0.22% to 1.4878 as prospects for a triple-dip recession and more easing by the Bank of England continued to pin down sterling.

The greenback edged lower against the Swiss franc with USD/CHF slipping 0.08% to 0.9510.

In Switzerland, official data showed that retail sales rose 1.9% in January, below expectations for a 2.8% increase.

The greenback was little changed against its Canadian, Australian and New Zealand counterparts, with USD/CAD inching up 0.02% to 1.0289, AUD/USD dipping 0.07% to 1.0228 and NZD/USD edging up 0.04% to 0.8216.

Sentiment on the commodity linked currencies was hit by concerns over a possible slowdown in the world's second-largest economy after data over the weekend showed that inflation in China hit a 10-month high in February, while industrial output and retail sales slowed.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, inched up 0.08% to 83.08. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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