By Gina Lee
Investing.com – The dollar was down on Monday morning in Asia, hitting pause on its recent gains, after the latest U.S. jobs report eased concerns about an earlier-than-expected hike in U.S. interest rates.
The U.S. Dollar Index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies inched down 0.10% to 92.325 by 1:03 AM ET (5:03 AM GMT).
The AUD/USD pair edged down 0.11% to 0.7517. Data released earlier in the day in Australia said the services PMI at a slightly higher-than-forecast 56.8, while retail sales grew a better-than-expected 0.4% month-on-month in May.
The NZD/USD pair also edged down 0.11% to 0.7018.
The USD/CNY pair edged down 0.15% to 6.4626. Chinese data released earlier in the day said that the Caixin services purchasing managers index (PMI) was at 50.3 in June, lower than the 55.1 figure reported for the previous month.
The GBP/USD pair was steady at1.3821.
The U.S. jobs report said that non-farm payrolls grew increased by a higher-than-expected 850,000 in June. However, the unemployment rate was also higher than expected at 5.9%, easing concerns that the U.S. Federal Reserve would raise interest rates sooner than expected.
“The report was mixed enough to probably keep the Fed from announcing tapering soon,” Westpac analyst Imre Speizer told Reuters.
“I think the market was thinking you’d get a signal at the Jackson Hole meeting in August. This report says that that just might be a bit early,” he added.
Investors now await the minutes from the Fed’s rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC)’s latest meeting, to be released later in the week. The minutes will be closely scrutinized as it was at this meeting that the Fed hinted at interest rate hikes beginning in 2023 in a surprise hawkish shift in its monetary policy.
“The minutes will likely reinforce the FOMC’s hawkish shift,” Commonwealth Bank of Australia (OTC:CMWAY) analyst Joe Capurso told Reuters.
“More information on when the FOMC could taper its asset purchases can boost U.S. interest rates and the dollar… so can further evidence that the FOMC’s outlook for inflation is shifting. In particular, analysts will look for signs that the FOMC is less confident the spike in inflation will be transitory and/or that the FOMC’s tolerance for an inflation overshoot is waning,” he added.
Investors also await a policy decision from the Reserve Bank of Australia, to be handed down on Tuesday. Although not expected to move its cash rate, some investors expected the Australian central bank would not extend its three-year yield target beyond the April 2024 bond and adopt a flexible approach to bond purchases in the decision.
Dollar Down, Takes Breather as U.S. Job Report Calms Interest Rate Hike Fears
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