The U.S. dollar traded stronger against most of its peers on Friday after data from the Labor Department showed the nation’s job growth accelerated in March, raising hopes for a steeper interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve next month.
The Labor Department data showed non-farm payroll employment jumped by 431,000 jobs in March after surging by an upwardly revised 750,000 jobs in February. Economists had expected employment to spike by 490,000 jobs compared to the addition of 678,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
While the job growth in March fell short of estimates, revisions to data for the two previous months showed employment increased by 95,000 more jobs than previously reported.
The strong job growth still contributed to a drop in the unemployment rate, which dipped to 3.6% in March from 3.8% in February. The unemployment rate was expected to edge down to 3.7%.
The yield on U.S. 10-year Treasury Note climbed past 2.42%, lending support to the dollar.
The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine contributed as well to the safe-haven currency’s uptick.
The dollar index, which climbed to 98.74, was trading at 98.56 a little while ago, gaining 0.26%.
Against the Euro, the dollar is trading at $1.1051, up by about 0.15% from the previous close of $1.1067. Eurozone inflation accelerated to a record high in March, rising 7.5% from 5.9% a month earlier, flash data from Eurostat showed. The rate was also above the economists’ forecast of 6.6%.
The dollar is at $1.3111 against Pound Sterling, firming from $1.3143. Data showed U.K.’s manufacturing activity moderated notably in March. The S&P Global/ Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index slid to 55.2 in March from 58.0 in February. The flash score was 55.5.
Against the Japanese currency, the dollar is stronger, fetching 122.50 yen a unit, up from 121.70 yen a unit.
The dollar is trading at 0.7499 against the Aussie, easing from 0.7482.
The Swiss franc is at CHF0.9249 a dollar, down from CHF0.9225 on Thursday evening. Data from the Federal Statistical Office showed Swiss consumer price inflation rose to the highest since October 2008, rising 2.4% year-on-year in March, following a 2.2% increase in February.
The Loonie is down marginally at C$1.2518 a dollar, compared with the previous close of C$1.2507. The IHS Markit Canada Manufacturing PMI rose to a fresh all-time high of 58.9 in March of 2022, from 56.6 in February.