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Dollar rebound holds as yields steady ahead of jobs data

NEW YORK : The dollar held gains on Wednesday after a quick recovery from an earlier fall as markets chose to focus on a suggestion from a top U.S. Federal Reserve official that the central bank may reduce support for the improving economy more quickly than widely thought.

The bullish comments on the U.S. economy, by Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida, triggered a rebound in U.S. Treasury yields and turned market attention away from the release two hours earlier of an unexpectedly weak private employment report that had driven the dollar down.

The dollar swung from being down 0.3per cent for the day to up 0.3per centon the opposing clues on whether the United States will see strong economic growth and higher interest rates or a serious drag from the coronavirus pandemic.

The ADP National Employment Report was seen as possibly foreshadowing softness in July jobs data due on Friday. But there were doubts about its value as a predictor and another report showed U.S. service industry activity jumping to a record high in July.

The currency markets have been expecting Friday's non-farm payrolls report to be the next big catalyst for exchange rates, followed by comments expected at a symposium of central bankers at the end of this month in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

In the afternoon in New York, the dollar index against major currencies was up 0.2per cent to 92.246.

The Japanese yen, often seen as a competing safe haven, was a big beneficiary of the dollar's initial fall on the ADP report and gained to 108.77 per dollar, but couldn't hold its break below 109. The dollar was last trading at 109.45 yen, up 0.4per cent.

The euro and British pound also swung against the greenback. The euro was last trading at US$1.1840, off 0.2per cent for the day. Sterling was down 0.2per cent to US$1.3889.

The initial downdraft came when the ADP report showed U.S. private payrolls increased about half as much as economists had expected, likely constrained by shortages of workers and raw materials.

"It was a fairly big disappointment," said Mazen Issa, senior currency strategist at TD Securities.

The ADP report has a mixed record of predicting the government report, Issa said, but added, "the miss is substantial enough that the markets may be a little bit more nervous going into Friday's report."

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and other policy makers have recently emphasized that upcoming employment reports will be critical to the board's decisions about when and how to cut back on support for the economy.

Fed policy maker Robert Kaplan told Reuters on Wednesday that more "progress" in the July and August jobs reports would be reason to start pulling back on bond purchases "soon."

The dollar has lost value in recent weeks as declining yields made strategists question whether the U.S. economy will grow as much as they had expected in light of the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19.

Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency, rose 7per cent to US$2,690 ahead of an upcoming change in the Ethereum blockchain network that will take some tokens out of circulation.

Bitcoin rose 4per cent to US$39,640.


Currency bid prices at 3:14PM (1914 GMT)

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

Previous Change


Dollar index

92.2460 92.0360 +0.24per cent 2.517per cent +92.3110 +91.8140


US$1.1840 US$1.1865 -0.21per cent -3.09per cent +US$1.1899 +US$1.1833


109.4500 109.0300 +0.39per cent +5.94per cent +109.6700 +108.7250


129.58 129.35 +0.18per cent +2.10per cent +129.8100 +129.1500


0.9062 0.9041 +0.25per cent +2.45per cent +0.9076 +0.9019


US$1.3889 US$1.3914 -0.18per cent +1.67per cent +US$1.3957 +US$1.3889


1.2549 1.2535 +0.12per cent -1.45per cent +1.2562 +1.2516


US$0.7381 US$0.7393 -0.14per cent -4.02per cent +US$0.7426 +US$0.7370


1.0728 1.0726 +0.02per cent -0.73per cent +1.0740 +1.0724


0.8522 0.8529 -0.08per cent -4.64per cent +0.8532 +0.8506


Dollar/Dollar US$0.7045 US$0.7019 +0.41per cent -1.86per cent +US$0.7088 +US$0.7018


8.8365 8.8215 +0.15per cent +2.89per cent +8.8480 +8.7780


10.4630 10.4650 -0.02per cent -0.04per cent +10.4778 +10.4180


8.6058 8.5979 -0.15per cent +4.99per cent +8.6126 +8.5666


10.1894 10.2049 -0.15per cent +1.12per cent +10.2130 +10.1838

(Reporting by David Henry in New York and Iain Withers in London; editing by Kirsten Donovan and Sonya Hepinstall)

Source: Reuters


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