Non-farm payrolls in focus as dollar slips below 100 yen

September 6, 2013

The Asian session was quiet on Friday since there was not alot of economic news and most currencies consolidated while investors position themselves for key risk later when the U.S. nonfarm payrolls will be released.

After rallying above 100 yen on Thursday the dollar fell back below this key level to 99.70 on profit taking. Yesterday the USDJPY was propelled to a high of 100.18 after a string of upbeat U.S. economic data that showed an improvement in the services sector and also a drop in jobless claims.

Today’s nonfarm payrolls will be closely watched by the Fed since jobs are a key factor in their decision for when to being tapering stimulus (tapering will be dollar positive).

Economists predict that 180,000 new positions were created in August, up from an increase of 162,000 in July. They estimate the unemployment rate to remain steady at 7.4 percent, the lowest since December 2008.

On Thursday data showed that U.S. jobless claims that fell by 9,000 to 323,000 in the week ended August 31. In other currencies, euro and sterling were little changed after a huge tumble against the dollar yesterday. 

The euro was under pressure after comments by ECB Chief Mario Draghi who signalled that the ECB was ready to lower rates if necessary.

EURUSD showed no clear direction after it dropped to $1.3110 yesterday and hovered close to this level throughout Asia. Focus is on the NFP data.

GBPUSD was little changed after its dip to $1.5572 yesterday, pinned down by a stronger dollar.

Yesterday the Bank of England announced it left the interest rate unchanged while leaving the asset purchase program steady.

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