The dollar fell against the other major currencies on Friday after a weaker-than-expected jobs report for July tempered expectations that U.S. rates could rise sooner than anticipated.
The Labor Department reported that that U.S. economy added 209,000 jobs in July, below forecasts for jobs growth of 233,000. The previous month’s figure was revised up to a gain of 298,000 from a previously reported increase of 288,000.
Although it was the sixth successive month that the U.S. economy added more than 200,000 jobs, the unemployment rate unexpectedly ticked up to 6.2% from 6.1% in June. In addition, wage growth was flat, pointing to underlying slack in the economy.
The data prompted investors to trim back expectations on the timing of a possible rate hike by the Federal Reserve, sending the dollar lower.
The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.19% at 81.39 late Friday, off Thursday’s 10 month highs of 81.66.
The greenback had rallied earlier in the week, as strong economic data underlined the view that the recovery is gaining momentum. Official data on Wednesday showed that U.S. economy expanded at an annual rate of 4.0% in the three months to June, outstripping forecasts of 3.0%.
USD/JPY was down 0.18% to 102.61 late Friday, but still ended the week with gains of 0.84%.
EUR/USD added 0.29% to trade at 1.3429 late Friday, backing away from Wednesday’s eight month trough of 1.3366. The euro remained under pressure after data on Thursday showed that the annual rate of inflation in the euro zone slowed in July.
The weak data added to pressure on the European Central Bank to implement further stimulus measures to shore up growth and stave off the threat of deflation in the currency bloc.
The pound was also lower against the dollar on Friday, with GBP/USD down 0.38% to 1.6822 at the close, bringing the week’s losses to 0.94%.
The drop in sterling came after data on Friday showed that the U.K. manufacturing sector expanded at the slowest pace in a year in July.
In the week ahead, investors will be focusing on the outcomes of a spate of central bank meetings, with the ECB, the Bank of Japan, the Bank of England and the Reserve Bank of Australia all to hold monetary policy assessments.
The latest employment reports from Australia, New Zealand and Canada will also be closely watched.
Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.
Monday, August 4
Markets in Australia are to remain closed for a national holiday; however the country is still to release data on retail sales.
In the euro zone, Spain is to produce a report on the change in the number of people employed.
Elsewhere in Europe, Switzerland is to publish its SVME PMI.
The U.K. is to publish data on construction sector activity.
Markets in Canada are to remain closed for a national holiday.
Tuesday, August 5
Australia is to release data on the trade balance, the difference in value between imports and exports.
The RBA is to announce its benchmark interest rate and publish its monetary policy statement, which outlines economic conditions and the factors affecting the monetary policy decision.
China is to publish the HSBC services PMI.
The euro zone is to release data on retail sales, while Spain and Italy are to produce reports on service sector activity.
The U.K. is also to release a report on service sector expansion.
Later Tuesday, the U.S. is to publish data on factory orders, while the Institute of Supply Management is to release data on service sector growth.
Wednesday, August 6
New Zealand is to release data on the change in the number of people unemployed and the unemployment rate.
Germany is to publish a report on factory orders.
Switzerland is to release a report on consumer price inflation.
The U.K. is to produce data on manufacturing and industrial production.
Later in the day, both the U.S. and Canada are to publish data on the trade balance.
Thursday, August 7
Australia is to release data on the change in the number of people unemployed and the unemployment rate.
The Swiss National Bank is to publish data on its foreign currency reserves. This data is closely scrutinized for indications of the size of the bank’s operations in currency markets.
The ECB is to announce its benchmark interest rate. The announcement is to be followed by a press conference with President Mario Draghi.
The BoE is also to announce its benchmark interest rate, following its monthly rate review.
Canada is to produce reports on building permits and the Ivey PMI.
The U.S. is to publish the weekly report on initial jobless claims.
Friday, August 8
Japan is to release data on the current account. Meanwhile, the BoJ is to announce its benchmark interest rate and publish its rate statement, which outlines economic conditions and the factors affecting the monetary policy decision. The bank will hold a press conference following the announcement.
The RBA is to publish its monetary policy statement. Australia is also to release data on home loans.
China is to release a report on its trade balance.
In the euro zone, France is to publish data on industrial production, while Germany is to publish a report on its trade balance.
Canada is to release data on the change in the number of people unemployed and the unemployment rate.