Daily Afternoon Report 04.03.2016

The dollar moved higher against the other major currencies on Friday, after data showed that the U.S. created more jobs than expected last month boosted optimism over the strength of the world’s biggest economy.

EUR/USD slid 0.34% to 1.0923.

The Labor Department said that the U.S. economy created 242.000 jobs in February, exceeding expectations for a 190.000 rise. The U.S. created 172.000 jobs in January, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated 151.000 gain.

The U.S. unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.9% last month, in line with expectations.

The report also showed that U.S. average hourly earnings fell 0.1% in February, disappointing expectations for a 0.2% rise, after an increase of 0.5% the previous month.

Data also showed that the U.S. trade deficit widened to $45.68 billion in January from $44.70 billion in December, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated deficit of $43.40 billion.

Analysts had expected the trade deficit to hit $44.00 billion in January.

USD/JPY rose 0.33% to 114.05.

Demand for the safe-haven yen continued to weaken as oil prices rose above $35 a barrel, as concerns over a global supply glut seemed to dissipate.

The dollar was higher against the pound and the Swiss franc, with GBP/USD down 0.44% at 1.4113 and with USD/CHF climbing 0.53% to 0.9973.

Meanwhile, the Australian and New Zealand dollars were stronger, with AUD/USD up 0.57% at 0.7393 and with NZD/USD gaining 0.42% to 0.6753.

Data earlier showed that Australia’s retail sales rose 0.3% in January, disappointing expectations for a 0.4% increase and after a flat reading the previous month.

USD/CAD edged up 0.11% to 1.3422.

Statistics Canada reported that the trade deficit narrowed to C$0.66 billion in January from C$0.63 billion in December, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated deficit of C$0.59 billion.

Analysts had expected the trade deficit to widen to C$1.05 billion in January.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.35% at 97.94.