Dollar posts biggest gains in nearly a month

by Jonathan Adams

The U.S. Dollar Index edged up 0.08% to 90.575

The dollar rose on Friday morning in Asia, posting its biggest gains in around a month. Investors continue to focus on the ongoing economic recovery from the pandemic following positive U.S. employment data released on Thursday, as well as the possibility of a tapering of stimulus policy.

The U.S. Dollar Index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies edged up 0.08% to 90.575 by 5:08 AM GMT.

The USD/JPY pair inched down 0.01% to 110.27 after data released earlier in the day said household spending increased 0.1% month-on-month and 13% year-on-year (YOU) in April.

The AUD/USD pair inched down 0.01% to 0.7657. Home loans in Australia rose 4.3% month-on-month, compared to 3.3% growth during the previous session, according to data released earlier in the day. In New Zealand, the NZD/USD pair inched up 0.08% to 0.7149.

The USD/CNY pair inched up 0.02% to 6.6049.

The GBP/USD pair inched down 0.09% to 1.4091 as investors await the U.K.’s Construction Purchasing Managers Index in May, due later in the day.

U.S. initial jobless claims dropped to 385,000 in the previous week, according to data released on Thursday. The number of claims recorded a fifth consecutive week of falls to a record low since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

Clearly traders are covering dollar shorts into the jobs data, said Chris Weston, head of research at brokerage Pepperstone, told Reuters.

Between 250,000 to 500,000 jobs and we’ll potentially see the dollar/yen pair fall 0.6% to 0.8%, Weston said. A number in line will not give us much to work with, so the moves in the market will be dictated by the broad quality of factors, revisions to the April print of 266,000, the unemployment rate, hourly earnings, he added.

Positioning data shows investors are heavily short dollars, with the market hypersensitive to any indication of a change in direction for the greenback or interest rate hikes. That could lead to a bumpy ride for the options market.

This article is for information purposes only.
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