DOLLAR RETREATS AS JOB DATA DISMAYS INVESTORS
The US dollar maintained its biggest loss in 10 days on Friday after disappointing US labor market data bruised optimism for the country’s speedy recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, Kevin Buckland reported for Reuters from Tokyo.
The greenback continued to buck its traditional role as a safe-harbor currency, falling in sympathy with US stocks overnight after an unexpected increase in weekly jobless claims soured the economic outlook. The British pound traded near an almost three-year high reached overnight, when it surged the most in more than a month, amid Britain’s aggressive vaccination program.
The dollar index was little changed at 90.584 early in the Asian session, after a 0.4% decline overnight cut short a two-day winning streak. For the week, the gauge is now back to more or less break-even.
The string of soft labor data is weighing on the dollar even as other indicators have shown resilience, and as President Joe Biden’s pandemic relief efforts take shape, including a proposed $1.9 trillion spending package.
Sterling was mostly flat at $1.3965 on Friday following a 0.8% jump in the previous session, when it rose as high as $1.3986 for the first time since April 2018.
The euro was little changed at $1.2089 after rising 0.4% overnight.
The dollar bought 105.695 yen, little changed following a two-day retreat from the five-month high of 106.225 reached Wednesday.
In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin continued to hover around $51,500, consolidating after hitting a record $52,640 on Wednesday in a rally fuelled by endorsements from Tesla Inc and others.
It has risen about 78% so far in 2021, after more than quadrupling last year. Smaller rival ethereum rose to a record $1,951.89 on Friday, just pipping the previous day’s high. It has surged some 162% this year. On Thursday, chipmaker Nvidia Corp announced a new processor designed specifically for mining ethereum.
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