Upbeat U.S. Data Keep Dollar Steady Against Rivals

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By Brendel Balaga

The dollar held its ground against rival currencies on Thursday following the release of U.S. encouraging employment reports.

Figures from the ADP showed that non-farm private employment went up by 173,000 in May, but missed expectations by 2,000.

The U.S. economy, meanwhile, generated 166,000 jobs in April.

In a separate report, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that the number of claimants who availed of initial jobless benefits in the week ending May 28 shed by 1,000 to 267,000 from the previous week’s 268,000.

Analysts earlier projected jobless claims to grow by 2,000 to 270,000.

USD/JPY shed 0.85%, dropping to a two-and-a-half week low of 108.60.

Despite the fall, the yen remained supported after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced early this week that he may delay a scheduled sales tax hike due to the weakness of the Japanese economy.

Abe also said he plans to introduce a fiscal stimulus package later in the year.

EUR/USD inched lower, shedding 0.11% to 1.1177, after the European Central Bank announced that it will not be changing its benchmark interest rate at 0.00%.

The pound was higher against the dollar, with GBP/USD rising 0.30% at 1.4455, while USD/CHF was steady at 0.9885.

The pound’s gains, however, were limited as the U.K.’s construction purchasing managers’ index declined to 51.2 from April’s 52.0. Economists were expecting the index to remain unchanged.

The Australian dollar was weaker against the greenback, with AUD/USD slipping 0.43% to trade at 0.7227, while NZD/USD was virtually unchanged at 0.6822.

Elsewhere, USD/CAD gained 0.24% to trade higher at 1.3108.

The U.S. dollar index hit lows of 95.15 earlier in the day but bounced back to 95.39.

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