Daily Afternoon Report 01.04.2016

The dollar trimmed losses against the other major currencies on Friday, after the release of upbeat U.S. employment data fueled optimism over the strength of the economy.

USD/JPY was down 0.27% at 112.29

The U.S. Labor Department said the economy added 215.000 jobs in March, exceeding expectations for an increase of 205.000. The number of jobs created increased by 245.000 in February, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated gain of 242.000.

The U.S. unemployment rate ticked up to 5.0% this month from 4.9% in February. Analysts had expected the unemployment rate to remain unchanged in March.

The report also showed that U.S. average hourly earnings rose 0.3% in March, exceeding expectations for an uptick of 0.2%, after a 0.1% fall the previous month.

Separately, sentiment improved after data earlier showed that manufacturing activity in China swung into expansion territory for the first time since August this month.

China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index rose to 50.2 in March from 49.0 the previous month. Analysts had expected the index to tick up to 49.3 this month

The Caixin manufacturing PMI rose to 49.7 in March from 48.0 in February, beating expectations for an increase to 48.2.

EUR/USD was up 0.12% to 1.1395, off highs of 1.1437 hit earlier in the session.

Markit research group reported on Friday that its eurozone manufacturing PMI rose to 51.6 in March from 51.4 the previous month, exceeding expectations for an unchanged reading.

In Germany, the manufacturing PMI rose to 50.7 this month from 50.4 in February, while the French manufacturing PMI remained unchanged at 49.6.

The dollar pushed higher against the pound, with GBP/USD down 0.69% at 1.4268 and remained lower against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF shedding 0.29% to 0.9591.

Sterling weakened after Markit said its U.K. manufacturing PMI rose to 51.0 in March from 50.8 the previous month, disappointing expectations for an increase to 51.2.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar was steady, with AUD/USD at 0.7660, off Thursday’s eight-month peak of 0.7723. NZD/USD declined 0.45% to 0.6882, after hitting a nine-month high of 0.6966 on Thursday.

USD/CAD climbed 0.62% to trade at 1.3089, after falling to a five-month low of 1.2857 on Thursday.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was steady at 94.63, after falling to 94.33 earlier in the day.