Daily Afternoon Report 05.06.2015

The dollar rallied over 1% against a basket of other major currencies on Friday, after data showed that the U.S. economy added far more jobs than expected last month, sparking optimism over the strength of the job market.In a report, the U.S. Department of Labor said the economy added 280,000 jobs in May, exceeding expectations for an increase of 225,000. However, April’s figure was revised to a 221,000 rise from a previously estimated gain of 223,000. The report also showed that the U.S. unemployment rate ticked up to 5.5% last month from 5.4% in April. Analysts had expected the rate to remain unchanged. U.S. average hourly earnings rose 0.3% in May, beating expectations for a 0.2% gain, after an uptick of 0.1% the previous month. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, jumped 1.13% to 96.57, the highest since June 2. EUR/USD tumbled 1.41% to 1.1082, pulling away from session highs of 1.1280. The single currency was hit after Greece on Thursday told the International Monetary Fund it would delay a debt payment of about $339 million due Friday, submitting a request to bundle payments totaling about $1.7 billion due this month into one payment. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has rejected proposals by creditors to help unlock more aid to help with repayments. Following late night talks with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Thursday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said “we’re still far from reaching a conclusion.” Earlier Friday, official data showed that German factory orders increased by 1.4% in April, beating expectations for a 0.5% gain. The change in factory orders for March was revised to a 1.1% rise from a previously estimated 0.9% uptick. The pound and the yen pushed lower, with GBP/USD down 0.78% to 1.5238 and with USD/JPY advancing 0.98% to 125.57. Elsewhere, USD/CHF rallied 1.10% to trade at 0.9440. Data earlier showed that Swiss foreign currency reserves fell to 517 billion Swiss francs in May from a revised total of 522.2 billion Swiss francs the previous month. The Australian and New Zealand dollars were weaker, with AUD/USD down 0.66% to 0.7633, while NZD/USD plummeted 1.11% to 0.7050. Meanwhile, USD/CAD edged down 0.11% to trade at 1.2489 after Statistics Canada reported that the number of employed people increased by 58,900 in May, blowing past expectations for a 10,000 rise and after a 19,700 drop the previous month. The report also showed that Canada’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.8% last month, in line with expectations.

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