The dollar rose on Friday in thin trading, posting its third straight weekly gain, after data showed the world's largest economy created more jobs than expected in March, suggesting it is on a steady path to recovery from the pandemic.
Financial markets are closed in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Britain, and Europe in observance of the Good Friday holiday. Wall Street is also closed, while the U.S. bond and currency markets are open because Good Friday is not a U.S. government holiday.
Friday's data showed U.S. nonfarm payrolls surged 916,000 jobs last month, the largest gain since last August. Data for February was revised higher to show 468,000 jobs created instead of the previously reported 379,000. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls increasing by 647,000 jobs in March.
"The overall strength of the labor market is likely to prove dollar-positive," said Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst, at Western Union (NYSE:WU) Business Solutions in Washington.
"The hiring explosion showed the economy producing some of the 'substantial further progress' the Federal Reserves wants to see before it pivots away from its low rate policies."
He added, though, that Treasury yields may take exception given tepid wage growth which is consistent with inflation remaining subdued.
Sentiment for the dollar has improved in recent weeks, while Treasury yields have spiked, as the Biden administration's planned stimulus of more than $2 trillion and a rapid COVID-19 vaccine rollout spurred economic optimism as well as inflation fears.
U.S. benchmark 10-year Treasury yields were last at 1.717%, up nearly 4 basis points from the previous session. [US/]
In midday trading, the dollar index was up 0.1% at 93.025, posting gains in five of the last six weeks.
The dollar's ascent to multi-month highs is likely to continue as more investors bet on economic recovery.
The dollar was up 0.1% versus the yen at 110.67 yen, not far from its strongest level in a year at just under 111 yen.
The euro, meanwhile, was down 0.2% against the dollar at $1.1756.
In the cryptocurrency market, ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization, hit a record high of $2,081.83 and was last up 5% at $2,065.45.
"Basically, there's a decentralized Wall Street blooming on top of ethereum that's currently growing faster than any other sector in the entire cryptocurrency industry, and it all requires ETH to function, likely explaining a good portion of the increased attention on the asset," said Sergey Nazarov, co-founder of Chainlink, a decentralized network that provides data to smart contracts on the blockchain.
Bitcoin, meanwhile, briefly rose above $60,000 for the first time in two weeks but then pared gains to trade up 1.1% at $59,400.
Currency bid prices at 11:58AM (1558 GMT)
Description RIC Last U.S. Close Pct Change YTD Pct High Bid Low Bid
Dollar index 92.9990 92.8980 +0.12% 3.354% +93.0750 +92.8300
Euro/Dollar $1.1756 $1.1778 -0.15% -3.75% +$1.1787 +$1.1749
Dollar/Yen 110.6750 110.6050 +0.08% +7.13% +110.7450 +110.3700
Euro/Yen 130.16 130.23 -0.05% +2.55% +130.3100 +130.0400
Dollar/Swiss 0.9408 0.9416 +0.11% +6.55% +0.9434 +0.9407
Sterling/Dollar $1.3817 $1.3834 -0.01% +1.25% +$1.3852 +$1.3815
Dollar/Canadian 1.2561 1.2553 +0.11% -1.31% +1.2573 +1.2530
Aussie/Dollar $0.7599 $0.7617 -0.17% -1.15% +$0.7637 +$0.7599
Euro/Swiss 1.1080 1.1090 -0.09% +2.53% +1.1097 +1.1074
Euro/Sterling 0.8508 0.8511 -0.04% -4.80% +0.8520 +0.8502
NZ $0.7016 $0.7025 -0.17% -2.34% +$0.7047 +$0.7013
Dollar/Norway 8.5190 8.5265 -0.04% -0.74% +8.5435 +8.5235
Euro/Norway 10.0298 10.0360 -0.06% -4.18% +10.0530 +10.0296
Dollar/Sweden 8.7275 8.7115 +0.04% +6.48% +8.7375 +8.7048
Euro/Sweden 10.2644 10.2598 +0.04% +1.87% +10.2685 +10.2572. NEW YORK (Reuters)