Dollar re-approaches multi-year highs ahead of nonfarm payrolls

Posted on at - The dollar re-approached more than four-year highs against a basket of other major currencies on Friday, as markets awaited an upcoming report on nonfarm payrolls data after data on Thursday showed that U.S. jobless claims declined last week.

The dollar found some support after the Department of Labor reported on Thursday that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending November 29 decreased by 17,000 to 297,000 from the previous week’s revised total of 314,000.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, edged up 0.18% to 88.82, not far from Thursday's more than four-year high of 89.20.

EUR/USD eased 0.10% to 1.2366 as markets digested comments made by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi on Thursday.

Mario Draghi indicated onThursday that the ECB would not embark on quantitative easing for now, saying the bank would reassess its stimulus program in the first quarter of 2015.

The ECB substantially revised down its forecasts for growth and inflation and warned that the latest forecasts do not take into account the recent steep drop in oil prices.

Earlier Friday, official data showed that German factory orders rose 2.5% in October, exceeding expectations for a 0.6% gain. Factory orders in September were revised to an increase of 1.1% from a previously estimated 0.8% rise.

USD/JPY touched fresh seven-year highs of 120.36, the most since July 2007 before falling back to 120.34, up 0.47% for the day.

The yen weakened after Japanese media outlets reported on Thursday that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's coalition government could retain its majority in the lower house of parliament in elections due to be held on December 14.

Abe dissolved parliament earlier this month, clearing the way for elections to seek a fresh mandate for his economic policies, which call for a weaker yen. The decision came after Japan’s economy unexpectedly fell into recession in the third quarter.

The pound was little changed, with GBP/USD at 1.5667, while USD/CHF edged up 0.09% to trade at 0.9723 after data showed that Swiss foreign currency reserves rose to 462.4 billion Swiss francs last month from 460.6 billion Swiss francs in October.

The Australian remained close to four-year lows, with AUD/USD down 0.16% to 0.8371 and NZD/USD slipped 0.22% to 0.7765.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD rose 0.23% to 1.1410 as investors eyed data on the change in the number of people employed in Canada and the unemployment rate, as well as a separate report on the trade balance due later in the day.

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