Dollar gains on U.S. May employment report, ECB move

Shutterstock photo - - The dollar traded higher against most major currencies on Friday after a solid May jobs report kept market expectations firm that the Federal Reserve will continue to wind down its $45 billion bond-buying program, the latest in a series of stimulus programs rolled out since the 2008 financial crisis to spur U.S. recovery.

In U.S. trading on Friday, EUR/USD was down 0.12% at 1.3645.

The U.S. Labor Department reported earlier that the economy added 217,000 in May, close to market expectations for a 218,000 increase, after a 282,000 rise in April, whose figure was revised down from a previously estimated 288,000 gain.

The private sector added 216,000 jobs last month, exceeding expectations for a 210,000 gain, which drew market applause and firmed the dollar.

The report also showed that the U.S. unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.3% last month compared to expectations for a rise to 6.4%.

The data, viewed by markets as not exceptionally robust, was still strong enough to keep expectations firm for the Federal Reserve to continue winding down its monthly bond-buying program, which weakens the dollar by suppressing long-term interest rates.

The Federal Reserve's current bond-buying program, the third since the 2008 financial crisis, has swelled the U.S. central bank's balance sheet to more than $4 trillion today from $2.9 trillion in late 2012.

The euro, meanwhile, continued to come under pressure after the European Central Bank cut its benchmark interest rate on Thursday to a record-low 0.15% from 0.25%, cut its deposit rate to -0.1% and said it will support the banking sector to spur lending via targeted long-term credit injections.

Elsewhere on Friday, official data revealed that Germany's trade surplus widened to €17.7 billion in April from €15.0 billion in March, whose figure was revised up from a previously estimated surplus of €14.8 billion. Analysts had expected the trade surplus to widen to €15.2 billion in April.

The dollar was up against the yen, with USD/JPY up 0.11% trading at 102.52 and up against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF up 0.23% at 0.8934.

The greenback was up against the pound, with GBP/USD down 0.07% at 1.6808.

The dollar was up against its cousins in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with USD/CAD up 0.07% at 1.0931, AUD/USD down 0.06% at 0.9334 and NZD/USD down 0.06% at 0.8495.

The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.09% at 80.45. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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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.

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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