Dollar Pushes Higher Against Rival Currencies

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By Jacob Maslow

The dollar edged higher against its rivals on Monday as markets continued to be bullish following Friday’s mixed U.S. employment report.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback’s standing against a trade-hinged group of six major currencies, was higher 0.37% at 97.61.

According to data published last week, the U.S. economy tacked on 242,000 new jobs in February, while the unemployment rate stayed at its eight-year low of 4.9%.

Meanwhile, average hourly earnings dropped by 0.1% last month, undoing the 0.5% increase posted in January.

Analysts say the weak wage figures could mean that consumer inflation will likely to remain muted. Federal Reserve policymakers factor inflation in determining the timing and frequency of additional rates increases.

Market players are particularly interested in more increases as higher interest rates typically push the dollar higher, making the greenback more appealing to yield-seeking investors.

The euro was weaker against the American currency, with EUR/USD falling 0.45% to trade lower at 1.0957, while EUR/JPY dropped 0.62% to trade at 124.44.

The single currency edged lower after data revealed that German factory orders slipped 0.1% in January, adding to a 0.2% decrease in December. Domestic orders decreased by 1.6% during the month, indicating a slowdown in the euro zone’s largest economy.

The Australian dollar was lower on Monday after rallying 4.4% last week, with AUD/USD sliding 0.34% to 0.7412.

Holding strong against the dollar was the Japanese yen, with USD/JPY easing 0.18% to trade at 113.55, off Friday’s 114.25.

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