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Forex - Dollar gains as jobs data sparks talk of Fed policy shift

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Shutterstock photo - The dollar gained against most major currencies on Wednesday after an industry report released earlier revealed that private-sector hiring came in stronger than expected in February, which sparked fresh market talk the Federal Reserve may consider phasing out stimulus measures soon.

In U.S. trading on Tuesday, EUR/USD was down 0.45% at 1.2992.

In the U.S., payroll processor ADP reported earlier that private-sector, non-farm payrolls rose by 198,000 in February, beating expectations for an increase of 170,000.

January's figure was revised up to a gain of 215,000 from a previously reported increase of 192,000.

Elsewhere, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that factory orders fell by 2% in January, less than market calls for a drop of 2.2%.

The data rekindled recently waning talk that the Federal Reserve may be closer to winding down monetary stimulus tools, including a monthly USD85 billion bond-buying program known as quantitative easing, which weakens the dollar by flooding the financial system full of liquidity to spur recovery.

Meanwhile across the Atlantic, the European Central Bank will conclude a two-day monetary policy meeting on Thursday, and talk of hints for future rate cuts to drive the economy towards recovery pushed the euro down against the dollar as well.

Data released earlier on Wednesday revealed that the eurozone economy shrank by 0.6% in the fourth quarter, in line with the preliminary estimates and economists' predictions.

The Bank of Japan, the Bank of England are addressing monetary policy this week as well, which made the greenback an attractive safe haven against most currencies on Wednesday.

The greenback, meanwhile, was up against the pound, with GBP/USD trading down 0.59% at 1.5036.

The dollar firmed against the yen, with USD/JPY trading up 0.82% at 94.06, and was up against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF trading up 0.72% at 0.9476.

The dollar was up against its cousins in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with USD/CAD up 0.43% at 1.0315, AUD/USD down 0.16% at 1.0241 and NZD/USD trading down 0.28% at 0.8287.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.51% at 82.53.

On Thursday in the U.S., the government will publish its weekly government report on initial jobless claims and official data on the trade balance.

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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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