NEW YORK: The dollar jumped on Friday after data showed jobs growth beat expectations in February, backing up the view of Federal Reserve officials who have said that a recent rise in US government bond yields is justified by an improving economic outlook.
The jobs improvement came amid falling new COVID-19 cases, quickening vaccination rates and additional pandemic relief money from the government, putting the labour market recovery back on firmer footing and on course for further gains in the months ahead.
“This is a rather impressive nonfarm payroll report,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA in New York. “There’s momentum in the labour market and what that’s doing is providing I think more optimism that the growth picture is looking even better.”
The dollar index jumped as high as 92.201, the highest since Nov. 25, before retracing back to 91.906, still up 0.30% on the day. The euro fell as low as $1.1892, the lowest since Nov. 26, before bouncing back to $1.1924, down 0.40% on the day.
The Swiss franc fell to a seven-month low of 0.9310 francs per dollar, before rebounding to 0.9283. The yen plumbed a nine-month low of 108.63 yen per dollar, before bouncing back to 108.37.
Risky currencies including the Australian dollar also weakened against the greenback. The Aussie was last down 0.37% at $0.7692. It has dropped from a three-year high of $0.8007 last week. Sterling briefly fell below $1.38 to a three-week low. It was last down 0.44% at $1.3835. In the cryptocurrency market, bitcoin fell 0.43% to $48,150. Ethereum dropped 2.97% to $1,492.03.