By Gina Lee
Investing.com – The dollar was up on Monday morning in Asia. However, a softer-than-expected U.S. employment report for May put the greenback under gentle pressure as the week opens.
The U.S. Dollar Index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies inched up 0.06% to 90.185 by 10:54 PM ET (2:54 AM GMT).
The USD/JPY pair inched up 0.08% to 109.57.
The USD/CNY pair edged up 0.11% to 6.4017. The yuan staged a comeback to again trade stronger than 6.4 per dollar and last bought 6.3880 offshore. Chinese trade data that is due later in the day could provide clues on the fundamental forces behind the yuan’s recent rapid rise.
The GBP/USD pair inched down 0.09% to 1.4142.
Non-farm payrolls rose by 559,000 in May according to Friday’s U.S. employment report, below the 650,000 in forecasts prepared by Investing.com but above April’s 278,000 reading.
May’s unemployment rate was at a better-than-expected 5.8%, and the data helped calm worries about an earlier-than-expected asset tapering by the U.S. Federal Reserve for now.
“Friday’s slightly softer-than-expected U.S. May employment numbers stand to set the tone for the weeks ahead… this provides the excuse for the (Fed) to say that substantial progress towards its goals has not been achieved and to defer the tapering debate a little longer,” ING Bank analysts said in a note.
The worries had pushed a small increase in short bets against the dollar during the past week, even as Fed officials maintained that the economic recovery from COVID-19 still has a long way to go and that they expected to maintain their current dovish policy.
Investors’ focus is now on the consumer price index (CPI) figures due later in the week. The figures could influence the Fed’s next move as it further gauges current price pressures. A lower-than-expected figure could mean further declines for the U.S. currency.
Investors also await the European Central Bank (ECB)’s latest policy decision, due to be handed down on Thursday, with the Fed’s own June meeting scheduled for Jun. 15 to 16.
The focus will be squarely on whether the ECB will begin tapering its bond-buying program.
“Assuming dollar bears can pass through Super Thursday of U.S. CPI and the ECB policy decision unscathed, the dollar could stay gently offered into the major event risk of the month which is the FOMC decision,” the ING note added.
“The ECB is in a bit of a catch-22… the outlook is gradually improving and the financial conditions are also still broadly conducive to the recovery,” Rabobank analysts said in their own note.
However, this is partly due to resolute dovishness from several members, setting the stage for debate inside the meeting that could deliver a small slowdown in the pace of bond buying, the note added.
Dollar Up, But Gentle Pressure Remains Ahead of “Super Thursday”
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