By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The dollar fell to a six-week low on Friday, after data showed the world’s largest economy created fewer jobs than expected last month, reinforcing expectations the Federal Reserve is likely to hold interest rates steady again at its December meeting .
The dollar index, a gauge of the greenback against six major currencies, dropped 0.8% to 105.29, after earlier sinking to 105.23, its lowest since September 20. The index was on track for its largest one-day fall since July. The euro was last up 0.8% at $1.0709, and thanks to gains earlier in the week was headed for a weekly gain of 1.4%, the largest since July.
Data showed nonfarm payrolls increased by 150,000 jobs last month. The numbers for September were revised lower to show 297,000 jobs created instead of 336,000 as previously reported.
“The (jobs) slowdown will likely keep the Fed on the sidelines going forward. One of their key concerns has been an overheated economy, especially after last quarter’s GDP growth, and this suggests that problem is going away,” said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer at Commonwealth Financial Network in Waltham, Massachusetts.
“Slower growth is still growth, and this jobs report is still in the sweet spot. We do see signs, however, that more weakness may be ahead,” he added.
Against the yen, the dollar slid 0.6% to 149.53 yen, capping a whirlwind week, in which the Japanese currency touched a one-year low against the dollar and 15-year trough against the euro.
The drop in the yen came after the Bank of Japan tweaked its yield curve control policy on Tuesday, but not by as much as markets had expected.
Kazuo Ueda, the central bank’s governor, will continue to dismantle its ultra-loose monetary policy and look to exit the decade-long accommodative regime next year, Reuters reported on Thursday, according to six sources familiar with the central bank’s thinking. Sterling rose 1.1% versus the dollar to $1.2327, after earlier hitting a six-week high of $1.2350. It is set for a weekly gain of 1.1%, also its most since July.
The dollar’s fall mirrors a decline in US Treasury yields. The benchmark US 10-year yield slid to a five-week low of 4,484%, and headed for a more than 30 basis-point retreat, its most since March 2020. This week’s fall was sparked by a combination of the US Treasury Department announcing smaller-than-expected increases in longer-dated Treasury supply, and Fed Chair Jerome Powell apparently less hawkish than markets expected at his press conference after the Fed’s Wednesday meeting. He did, however, leave the door open to a further increase in borrowing costs in a nod to the economy’s resilience.
Post-jobs data, markets are now pricing in a less than 10% chance of a rate increase in December compared with nearly 20% late on Thursday, according to the CME’s FedWatch tool.
Currency bid prices at 10:11AM (1411 GMT)
Description RIC Last US Close Pct Change YTD Pct High Bid Low Bid
Dollar index 105.2900 106.2000 -0.85% 1.739% +106.2200 +105.1100
Euro/Dollar $1.0710 $1.0623 +0.80% -0.07% +$1.0737 +$1.0616
Dollar/Yen 149.5300 150.4700 -0.60% +14.07% +150.5150 +149.1800
Euro/Yen 160.14 159.79 +0.22% +14.14% +160.1400 +159.6100
Dollar/Swiss 0.8997 0.9060 -0.68% -2.69% +0.9074 +0.8985
Sterling/Dollar $1.2329 $1.2202 +1.05% +1.95% +$1.2347 +$1.2185
Dollar/Canadian 1.3689 1.3738 -0.35% +1.04% +1.3760 +1.3666
Aussie/Dollar $0.6487 $0.6434 +0.82% -4.83% +$0.6512 +$0.6420
Euro/Swiss 0.9634 0.9623 +0.11% -2.64% +0.9647 +0.9616
Euro/Sterling 0.8686 0.8703 -0.20% -1.79% +0.8721 +0.8686
NZ $0.5970 $0.5894 +1.30% -5.97% +$0.5992 +$0.5885
Dollar/Norway 11.0840 11.1590 -0.73% +12.88% +11.1790 +11.0550
Euro/Norway 11.8723 11.8470 +0.21% +13.14% +11.9021 +11.8350
Dollar/Sweden 10.9607 11.1063 -0.50% +5.31% +11.1230 +10.9332
Euro/Sweden 11.7391 11.7983 -0.50% +5.29% +11.8115 +11.7212
(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Additional reporting by Chibuike Oguh in New York, Alun John in London, and Ankur Banerjee in Singapore; Editing by Christina Fincher and Andrea Ricci)