Dollar dips on lacklustre wage growth; bitcoin futures surge

Frankfurt (Dec 11)  The dollar edged lower on Monday on disappointing U.S. wages data that analysts said could weigh on the pace of interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve next year.

Not for the first time in recent weeks, bitcoin stole the spotlight, as futures of the cryptocurrency began trading on Cboe Global Markets. U.S. employment data on Friday showed a bigger rise in jobs than expected in November, but pay growth remained moderate. The annual increase in wages rose to 2.5 percent, from 2.3 percent in October. The Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates at its two-day policy meeting that will end on Wednesday, and is seen as possibly tightening two or three times in 2018. But still-sluggish inflation and wage growth has clouded next year's policy outlook.

The dollar dipped 0.1 percent to 93.801 against a basket of major currencies, pulling away from a two-week high hit on Friday.

"I think this is being driven by the softer earnings data we saw in the payrolls report on Friday which reinforces the Fed's current policy dilemma, where yes we have solid growth but so far a lack of inflation pressure," said MUFG currency strategist Lee Hardman.

"It was a continuation of the 'Goldilocks' conditions, with stronger global growth but little inflation pressure, no strong pressure on central banks to speed up the pace of tightening."

Reuters

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