Dollar Little Changed Following Friday's Disappointing Jobs Report
Washington (Apr 6) The dollar is little changed against its major competitors at the start of the new trading week. Trading activity remains light, with a number of global markets closed for the Easter holiday. The US jobs report for March was released on Friday, despite the closure of a number of equity markets for the Good Friday holiday.
The Labor Department released a report on Friday showing that employment in the US rose by much less than expected in the month of March. The report said non-farm payroll employment rose by 126,000 jobs in March following a downwardly revised increase of 264,000 jobs in February.
Economists had expected employment to increase by about 245,000 jobs compared to the addition of 295,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month. Meanwhile, the report also said the unemployment rate held at a six-year low of 5.5% in March, unchanged from February and in line with economist estimates.
Meanwhile, growth in the US services sector slowed in March for the first time this year, according to the results of an industry survey released on Monday. A slowdown in production contributed to the decreased pace of growth, though March also saw a pickup in new orders. Prices and employment expanded in the month as well.
The Institute for Supply Management said its index of non-manufacturing activity came in at 56.5 for March. This was down from the level of 56.9 seen in the previous month. Economists had expected a reading of 56.7 for March.
The dollar hovered around the Y119 level against the Japanese Yen for the majority of Monday's session, but has broken out to around Y119.310 this afternoon.
The leading Index for Japan , which measures the future economic activity, dropped less-than-expected in February, preliminary figures from the Cabinet Office showed Monday. The leading index fell slightly to 105.3 in February from 105.5 in the previous month. Economists had expected the index fall to 104.9. It was the second consecutive monthly decrease.
The International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Sunday welcomed Greece's commitment to make the loan payment due this week. She held informal talks with the Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis on the Greek government's reform program.
Greece is due to repay an IMF installment of EUR 460 million on April 9 . There were concerns ahead of the talks that the government may chose to meet its pension and wage obligations over the loan repayment.
European markets remain closed Monday for the Easter holiday.
The buck slipped to over a 1-week low of USD1.1035 against the Euro Monday, but has since bounced back to around USD1.0980 , nearly unchanged for the session.
The greenback also dropped to a week and a half low of USD1.4981 against the pound sterling, but has since rebounded to around USD1.4920 .