RTTNews - The dollar was steady against most other major currencies Friday morning in New York as traders around the world braced for the pivotal US monthly jobs report.

The key report on the health of the labor market from the U.S. Labor Department was set to be released at 8:30 am ET. The government's employment situation report for May is expected to show a slower pace of contraction in non-farm payrolls, with the headline figure forecasted to decline by 520,000 compared to a decline of 539,000 in April.

Nonetheless, the unemployment rate is expected to climb to a twenty-five year of 9.2 percent for May from 8.9 percent in the previous month.

While economists have begun to express optimism that the worst of the global recession is behind us, a dismal jobs market and lingering problems in the housing market are likely to prevent any meaningful expansion from taking place for the next year.

The dollar was holding its ground for a third day versus the euro, consolidating its attempts to stabilize from a recent swoon. The buck barely budged near 1.4200, with few traders wanting to get ahead of the jobs report. Earlier in the week, the dollar hit a 5-month low of 1.4338.

The buck was also steady versus the sterling, rising to a weekly high of 1.6016 before dropping back a penny. Still, the buck remains well off its 6-month low of 1.6662 from earlier in the week.

On Thursday, both the European Central Bank and Bank of England left their respective key interests rates unchanged.

The dollar also held onto its gains from the previous session versus the yen, holding just below 97. Versus its petro-linked Canadian counterpart, the dollar was range-bound near C$1.10, having seen steep losses over the past month as oil ascended back to toward the $70 a barrel mark.

The Bank of Canada on Thursday announced that it is maintaining its target for the overnight rate at 1/4 per cent, as expected. Policymakers in Ottawa also reiterated a conditional commitment to hold current policy rate until the end of the second quarter of 2010.

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