The euro lost sharp ground vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.4230 level and was capped around the $1.4410 level. The common currency sold off sharply following the release of U.S. July non-farm payrolls data that saw 247,000 workers lose their jobs last month from a positively revised -443,000 in June. Also, the July unemployment rate improved to 9.4% from 9.5% in June, better-than-expected, while July average hourly earnings were up 0.2% m/m from 0.0% m/m. July average hourly earnings were also up 2.5% y/y, down from 2.7% y/y in June, while July average weekly hours printed at 33.1, up from 33.0. Even though today€™s data evidenced an improvement in the U.S. labour market, many economists believe the unemployment rate will peak above 10.0% later this year or early next year. U.S. economic growth is still contracting and it must grow approximately 2.5% per year in order to accommodate new entrants into the job market. In eurozone news, German June industrial output was off 0.1% m/m and 18.1% y/y. French President Sarkozy will meet with the heads of a few banks next week and impress upon them the need to increase their lending activity. Data released in France today saw the June trade deficit widen to ‚¬4.01 billion while the German June trade surplus expanded to ‚¬12.2 billion from ‚¬9.6 billion. European Central Bank President Trichet reported €œWe're leaving this period of free-fall, we're still falling. We're in a period which still requires a great deal of vigilance. We have all had to cope with exceptional situation. We all took decisions that were commensurate with the problems we faced. We did not do the same because the situation was not the same.€ Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3900 figure.