The U.S. dollar exhibited strength against its peers on Friday after data showed a bigger than expected increase in U.S. employment in the month of July.
Data from the Labor Department showed that employment rose by 1.763 million jobs in July after climbing by a downwardly revised 4.791 million jobs in June. Economists had expected employment to rise by 1.6 million jobs compared to the 4.8 million job spike originally reported for the previous month.
The unemployment rate fell to 10.2% in July from 11.1% in June. The rate was expected to drop to 10.5%.
The failure of U.S. Democratic leaders and White House officials to make any meaningful progress on a new coronavirus aid bill contributed a bit to dollar paring some of its gains against peers.
The dollar index, which rose to 93.62 by mid-morning, gave up some gains subsequently, but was still holding firm at 93.41 in late afternoon trades, netting a gain of nearly 0.7%.
Against the Euro, the dollar firmed up to $1.1787, gaining nearly 0.8%
The Pound Sterling was weaker by about 0.7% with a unit of sterling fetching $1.3054, compared with $1.3143 on Thursday afternoon.
The Japanese Yen was weaker at 105.96 a dollar, easing from previous close of 105.55. Japan’s leading index increased in June and labor cash earnings declined at a softer rate, data showed on Friday.
The leading index, which measures the future economic activity, rose to 85.0 in June from 78.3 in May, the Cabinet Office revealed.
The coincident index increased to 76.4 in June from 72.9 in the previous month.
The dollar was stronger by more than 1% against the Aussie with the pair quoting at 0.7159.
The Swiss franc slipped more than 0.3 to 0.9127 a dollar, while the Canadian Loonie weakened to 1.3388 a dollar, drifting down from 1.3307.
In economic news from Canada, data released by Statistics Canada this morning showed the Canadian economy created 418,500 jobs in July of 2020, easing from a record 952,900 in the previous month. The unemployment rate in Canada dropped to 10.9% in July 2020, easing further from April’s record high of 13.7%.
Meanwhile, the Ivey PMI for Canada rose to 68.5 in July 2020 from 58.2 in the previous month. The index had touched an all-time low of 22.8 in April. July reading is the highest for the index since April 2018.