Investing.com - The New Zealand dollar rallied more than 1% against its U.S. counterpart on Friday, as a softer than expected U.S. jobs report prompted investors to place bets that the Federal Reserve will hold off on raising interest rates until later this year.
NZD/USD jumped to 0.7631 on Friday, the most since March 26, before pulling back to settle at 0.7599 by late trade, up 1.19% for the day and 0.58% higher for the week.
The Labor Department reported that the U.S. economy added 126,000 new jobs in March, less than half of February's gain and the smallest increase since December 2013. Economists had forecast jobs growth of 245,000 last month.
February's figure was revised down to 264,000 from 295,000. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at a six-and-a-half year lows of 5.5%, in line with forecasts.
The surprisingly weak report added to concerns over the outlook for economic growth after other recent economic data pointed to a slowdown at the start of the year.
A slowing labor market could prompt the Federal Reserve to reconsider a planned increase in interest rates. Last month the Fed indicated that the first rate increase could come as soon as June, but added that continued improvement in labor markets would be a key factor it would consider.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies fell 0.95% to 96.84 on Friday morning, while the Dow futures tumbled more than 160 points.
Declines were exacerbated by thin trading conditions due to the Easter holiday weekend. Most markets in Europe were closed and U.S markets traded for shortened hours.
In the week ahead, markets outside the U.S. will remain closed on Monday. The U.S. is to release what will be closely watched data on service sector activity on Monday and the Federal Reserve is to publish the minutes of its March meeting on Wednesday.
Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets. The guide skips Tuesday as there are no relevant events on this day.
Monday, April 6
Markets in New Zealand will remain closed for holidays.
In the U.S., the Institute of Supply Management is to release data on service sector activity.
Wednesday, April 8
The Federal Reserve is to publish the minutes of its March meeting.
Thursday, April 9
The U.S. is to release the weekly report on initial jobless claims.
Friday, April 10
China is to publish figures on both consumer and producer price inflation.
The U.S. is to round up the week with a report on import prices.
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