Home Featured Dollar Stays Subdued After Jobs Data, Powell's Comments

Dollar Stays Subdued After Jobs Data, Powell's Comments

Dollar Stays Subdued After Jobs Data, Powell's Comments

The dollar was weak against most major currencies on Friday, reacting to mixed jobs data and on Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s comments that the central bank will continue to act “as appropriate” to support economic expansion.

Data released by the Labor Department showed an addition of 130,000 jobs in July, much less than an expected increase of 158,000 jobs.

Hourly wages were up 0.4% in August, slightly more than the estimated increase of 0.3%.

The dollar index, which was down at 98.19 around mid morning, recovered to 98.43 later on in the day.

Against the euro, the dollar was up slightly at 1.1031.

Britain’s pound sterling was down 0.37% at $1.2285, falling from $1.2331.

Against the Yen, the dollar was down slightly around late afternoon.

The dollar shed about 0.45% against the Aussie, with the AUD-USD pair trading at 0.6846. Against the loonie, the dollar was down 0.4% at 1.3173 after solid Canadian jobs data, and against Swiss franc, it gained about 0.17% at 0.9875.

Data from the Labor Department showed that the non-farm payroll employment rose by 130,000 jobs in August after climbing by a downwardly revised 159,000 jobs in July.

Economists had expected employment to increase by about 158,000 jobs compared to the addition of 164,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

The Labor Department also said the unemployment rate held at 3.7 percent in August, unchanged from July and in line with economist estimates.

Today’s jobs data undermined optimism triggered by the better-than-expected ISM nonmanufacturing gauge and the Automatic Data Processing’s private sector payrolls numbers for August on Thursday.

Speaking at a forum in Zurich, Switzerland, Fed chief Powell said the central bank has helped keep the economy on solid ground amid the uncertainty caused by Trump’s trade war with China.

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Powell said that despite the uncertainty caused by the trade war, the Fed does not currently anticipate a recession, noting the labor market and consumer spending remain strong.

“We’re not forecasting or expecting a recession,” the Fed chief said. “The most likely outlook is still moderate growth, a strong labor market and inflation continuing to move back up.” He also reiterated that the Fed will “act as appropriate” to sustain the U.S. economic expansion.

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