Market sentiment was weighed down this Friday by the disappointing US jobs report. The non-farm payrolls data showed job creation in the U.S. slowed considerably in March. Only 120,000 jobs were added, nearly half compared to February, and fell short of expectations for a gain in 203,000. This dampened expectations of a more robust US economic recovery and raised speculation that the Fed will take further steps for stimulus measures, and revisit the case for further quantitative easing. This policy usually weakens the dollar.
The dollar fell for the first time in five days against the euro after the NFP data. EURUSD shot up to 1.3111 in a knee-jerk reaction before steadying and consolidating between 1.3072 and 1.3102. This was higher compared to 1.3067 hit in Thursday’s U.S. trading session. However, on the week, the euro has lost over 2 percent against the dollar due to concerns over Spanish debt.
GBPUSD jumped to 1.5889 after the data where it hovered for the rest of the session.
USDJPY tumbled 1.5 percent in reaction to the US jobs report, touching as low as 81.29. This was well off the 83.29 high hit at the beginning of this week.
Dollar fell against the safe haven Swiss franc, with USDCHF sliding to 0.9159 from 0.9202.
The ICE dollar index, which tracks the performance of the U.S dollar against a basket of six major currencies, dropped to as low as 79.81 after the US data. The index was at 80.084 before the jobs data and at 80.101 late on Thursday.
Trading volumes were light today due to most markets being closed in observance of the Good Friday holiday. Most European and Asian markets were closed as well. So on Monday there probably will be a lot of price action as traders return and react to the NFP data.