US jobs data batters the US dollar

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Graphic: Renjith Krishnan.

The dollar slipped against other major currencies Friday after a dismal US jobs report showed the world's largest economy added only 69,000 jobs in May, raising global growth fears.

The unexpectedly bad US labor data hammered US and European stock markets and crude oil prices, but gave the euro a boost despite rising concerns about the eurozone debt crisis.

The euro was traded at $1.2423 around 23:00 SA time, up from $1.2361

at the same time Thursday. Earlier, it had fallen below $1.23 for the first time since July 2010, to $1.2288.

The European currency also rebounded against the Japanese currency from a new 11-year low of 95.60 yen, to trade at 97.01 yen late Friday, up from 96.82 yen Thursday.

The dollar fell to 78.09 yen from 78.33 yen.

The US unemployment rate edged up to 8.2 percent in May, the first increase in almost a year and the 69,000 jobs gained was the smallest number since May 2011, according to Labor Department data.

Kathy Lien, head of currency research at GFT, said it was only the third time in more than a month that the euro rallied against the dollar.

“Expectations for support from European policymakers can only be credited for a small part of the euro's rally because so far, there has been nothing but radio silence,” she said.

“An abysmal (US) non-farm payrolls report is the primary reason why the EUR/USD rebounded today.”

The dollar also fell against the Swiss currency, to 0.9667

francs from 0.9714 francs late Thursday.

But the greenback strengthened against the British pound, which fetched $1.5349 compared with $1.5406 the previous day. - Sapa-AFP


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