The US dollar showed mixed performance against its major counterparts following the US Labor Department's report reveled that employment continued to fall sharply in March. While, the greenback edged higher against the Japanese yen it showed weakness against other major currencies immediately after the report.
The report showed that non-farm payroll employment fell by 663,000 jobs in March following an unrevised decrease of 651,000 jobs in February. The drop in jobs came roughly in line with economists' expectations of a decrease of 658,000 levels.
With the continued decrease in jobs, the unemployment rate rose to 8.5 percent in March from 8.1 percent in the previous month, in line with expectations. With the increase, the unemployment rate rose to its highest level since November of 1983.
The greenback eased to 1.1326 against the Swiss franc by 8:30 am ET from 1.1392 hit earlier in the European session. The dollar-franc pair that closed yesterday's deals at 1.1342 is currently quoted at 1.1371.
In economic news from Switzerland, the Federal Statistical Office said Swiss consumer prices declined 0.4% in March from the previous year, faster than 0.1% fall expected by economists. In February, consumer prices grew 0.2%. Month-on-month, consumer prices were down 0.3% in March, while economists expected prices to stay stable.
The dollar declined to 1.3477 against the European common currency by 8:30 am ET, down from a previous high of 1.34 hit around 2:35 am ET. The dollar, however, gained ground against the euro thereafter. The euro-buck pair that closed yesterday's deals at 1.3464 is currently trading near 1.339.
The euro showed some weakness after the Germany's Federal Statistical Office said in a report that the import price index declined 6.4% year-over-year in February, after falling 5.4% in January. This was the biggest price decline since 1999, when prices fell 6.6%. A year ago, prices were up 4.8%.
Against the Japanese yen, the US dollar advanced to 100.28 by 8:30 am ET. This set the highest mark for the yen since November 4, 2008. The dollar-yen pair that closed Thursday's trading at 99.54 is currently quoted at 99.86.
Against the UK's sterling, the US dollar plunged to a new multi-month low of 1.4848 by 8:30 am ET. The cable, which closed yesterday's trading at 1.4727, is currently worth near 1.478.
Traders continued to mull a report from HBOS that UK's Halifax house price index dropped 1.9% month-on-month in March, lower than February's 2.3% fall. Economists had expected a monthly fall of 1.8% in March.
Looking ahead, the ISM is scheduled to release the results of its non-manufacturing survey at 10 am ET. The non-manufacturing index is likely to show a reading of 42 for March.
Also, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is due to deliver closing keynote address to Richmond Fed Bank's 2009 Credit Markets Symposium in Charlotte, North Caroline at 12 pm ET.
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