The dollar turned lower against the other major currencies on Wednesday, after data showed that U.S. non-farm private employment rose less than expected in July, dampening expectations for a U.S. rate hike in September.
Payroll processing firm ADP said non-farm private employment rose 185,000 last month, below expectations for an increase of 215,000. The economy created 229,000 jobs in June, whose figure was downwardly revised from a previously reported increase of 237,000.
The dollar had strengthened broadly after Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart said Tuesday it would take a “significant deterioration in the economic picture” for him to not support a rate hike in September.
Investors were now turning their attention to the upcoming U.S. jobs report for July, which could reinforce expectations for higher interest rates.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.24% at 97.81, after rising to highs of 98.33 earlier in the day.
EUR/USD rose 0.23% to 1.0904, off session lows of 1.0849. Earlier Wednesday, data showed that euro zone service sector growth slowed in July, as activity in France and Italy slowed.
The euro area services purchasing managers’ index fell to 53.9 from June’s four year high of 54.2.
Another report showed that retail sales in the region fell by a larger than forecast 0.6% in June.
The dollar pushed lower against the pound, with GBP/USD up 0.48% at 1.5640.
Data earlier showed that Markit’s U.K. services PMI fell to 57.4 in July from 58.5 in June, compared to expectations for a reading of 58.0.
Elsewhere, the dollar slipped lower against the yen and the Swiss franc, with USD/JPY down 0.19% at 124.12 and with USD/CHF down 0.08% at 0.9779.
The Australian dollar was steady, with AUD/USD at 0.7382, while NZD/USD gained 0.23% to 0.6555.
Statistics New Zealand reported on Wednesday that the number of employed people rose by 0.3% in the second quarter, disappointing expectations for a 0.5% gain, after an increase of 0.7% in the three months to March.
The report also showed that New Zealand’s unemployment rate ticked up to 5.9% in the last quarter from 5.8% in the first quarter of 2015, in line with expectations.
Meanwhile, USD/CAD edged down 0.15% to trade at 1.3172.