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FOREX-Dollar jumps as U.S. jobs growth beats expectations
Published at 05/03/2021 at 15:02

(New throughout, updates prices, changes byline, dateline; previous LONDON)

* Graphic: World FX rates

By Karen Brettell

NEW YORK, March 5 (Reuters) - The dollar jumped on Friday after data showed jobs growth beat expectations in February, backing up the view of Federal Reserve officials who have said that a recent rise in U.S. government bond yields is justified by an improving economic outlook.

The jobs improvement came amid falling new COVID-19 cases, quickening vaccination rates and additional pandemic relief money from the government, putting the labor market recovery back on firmer footing and on course for further gains in the months ahead.

Nonfarm payrolls surged by 379,000 jobs last month, after rising 166,000 in January. In December, payrolls fell for the first time in eight months. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast February payrolls increasing by 182,000 jobs.

"This is a rather impressive nonfarm payroll report," said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA in New York. "There's momentum in the labor market and what that’s doing is providing I think more optimism that the growth picture is looking even better."

A rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and impending U.S. fiscal stimulus have boosted confidence in an economic recovery, adding fuel to expectations of higher inflation.

The dollar index jumped as high as 92.201, the highest since Nov. 25, before retracing back to 91.906, still up 0.30% on the day. The euro fell as low as $1.1892, the lowest since Nov. 26, before bouncing back to $1.1924, down 0.40% on the day.

Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields hit a one-year high of 1.625%, and were last at 1.599%.

The jobs data comes after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on Thursday disappointed investors who were expecting him to express concerns about rising bond yields.

Powell stuck to his stance of keeping interest rates low until the economy has recovered, adding that the sell-off in Treasuries was not "disorderly".

"The U.S. dollar rose sharply higher post-Powell comments (as) many in the market I sense were looking for stronger rhetoric from the Fed to put a break on further rallies in yields," said Neil Jones, head of FX sales at Mizuho Bank.

The Swiss franc and Japanese yen continued to weaken against the greenback on Friday on expectations that global growth will lag that of the United States.

The Swiss franc fell to a seven-month low of 0.9310 francs per dollar, before rebounding to 0.9283.

The yen plumbed a nine-month low of 108.63 yen per dollar, before bouncing back to 108.37.

Risky currencies including the Australian dollar also weakened against the greenback. The Aussie was last down 0.37% at $0.7692. It has dropped from a three-year high of $0.8007 last week.

Sterling briefly fell below $1.38 to a three-week low. It was last down 0.44% at $1.3835.

In the cryptocurrency market, bitcoin fell 0.43% to $48,150. Ethereum dropped 2.97% to $1,492.03.


Currency bid prices at 9:47AM (1447 GMT)

Description RIC Last U.S. Close Pct Change YTD Pct High Bid Low Bid

Previous Change


Dollar index 91.9060 91.6420 +0.30% 2.139% +92.2010 +91.6210

Euro/Dollar $1.1924 $1.1973 -0.40% -2.40% +$1.1977 +$1.1893

Dollar/Yen 108.3650 107.9400 +0.31% +4.83% +108.6400 +107.8250

Euro/Yen 129.22 129.25 -0.02% +1.81% +129.5700 +128.9000

Dollar/Swiss 0.9283 0.9288 -0.05% +4.93% +0.9311 +0.9258

Sterling/Dollar $1.3835 $1.3897 -0.44% +1.27% +$1.3906 +$1.3779

Dollar/Canadian 1.2657 1.2667 -0.07% -0.60% +1.2736 +1.2647

Aussie/Dollar $0.7692 $0.7721 -0.37% -0.01% +$0.7727 +$0.7624

Euro/Swiss 1.1067 1.1119 -0.47% +2.41% +1.1125 +1.1056

Euro/Sterling 0.8616 0.8612 +0.05% -3.59% +0.8651 +0.8603

NZ $0.7158 $0.7186 -0.40% -0.33% +$0.7193 +$0.7100


Dollar/Norway 8.5305 8.5795 -0.41% -0.50% +8.6290 +8.5095

Euro/Norway 10.1695 10.2706 -0.98% -2.84% +10.3076 +10.1630

Dollar/Sweden 8.5341 8.4909 +0.08% +4.12% +8.5668 +8.4834

Euro/Sweden 10.1766 10.1683 +0.08% +0.99% +10.1995 +10.1616

<^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ World FX rates


(Additional reporting by Joice Alves and Ritvik Carvalho in London; Editing by Alex Richardson)