During early deals on Monday, the US dollar rose to a new multi-month high against the Japanese yen. On the other hand, the greenback showed weakness against its European counterparts. The dollar declined to an 8-week low against the British pound and a 10-day low versus the European currency and the Swiss franc.
U.S. stocks suffered considerable uncertainty throughout most of Friday's session, ultimately closing higher on the day. The lack of direction seen for much of the day came as traders digested weak employment data along with some positive remarks from Fed Chairman Bernanke.
On Friday, the Dow closed up 39.51 points or 0.5% at 8,018, the Nasdaq closed up 19.24 points or 1.2% at 1,622 and the S&P 500 closed up 8.12 points or 1% at 842.
On the economic front, the Labor Department said 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. The increase lifted the unemployment rate to its highest level since November of 1983.
Separately, the Institute for Supply Management released its report on activity in the service sector for March, showing that its index of activity in the sector unexpectedly fell to 40.8 in March from 41.6 in February, with a reading below 50 indicating a contraction in the sector.
Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke offered encouraging news Friday, pledging that programs enacted by the Federal Reserve to unfreeze the credit markets are working. In a speech at a symposium on Financial Markets in Charlotte, North Carolina, Bernanke praised the actions of policymakers as lowering the cost and increasing the availability of credit.
In the midst of extraordinarily challenging times for the financial system and economy, Bernanke stated that he is confident that growth will be restored.
Against the European currency, the US dollar traded down during early Asian deals on Monday. At 9:30 pm ET, the dollar declined to a 10-day low of 1.3583 against the euro, compared to 1.3492 hit late New York Friday. The euro-dollar pair is currently trading at 1.3561 with 1.373 seen as the next target level.
The US dollar that closed Friday's North American session at 1.4843 against the British pound declined to 8-week low of 1.4943 at 10:15 pm ET Sunday. The next downside target level for the US currency is seen around 1.52.
Against the Swiss franc, the US currency edged down during Monday's early Asian deals. At 11:10 pm ET, the dollar-franc pair touched a 10-day low of 1.1250, compared to Friday's closing value of 1.1305. If the pair falls further, 1.117 is seen as the next target level.
The greenback that closed Friday's New York deals at 100.27 against the Japanese yen edged higher to 100.94 at 9:30 pm ET Sunday. This set the highest mark for the pair since October 21, 2008. On the upside, 103.5 is seen as the next target level for the US dollar. The dollar-yen pair is currently quoted at 100.80.
The Japanese yen plummeted across the board today as worldwide equities rally and the global optimism buoyed by positive comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke increased investors' risk appetite.
Japan will provide February figures for its leading index, with analysts expecting a score of 75.3 following the 77.2 market in January. Also, the Bank of Japan kicks off its two-day monetary policy meeting and will announce any adjustments to interest rates at its conclusion on Tuesday.
Turning to the U.S., the Fed governor Kevin Warsh will speak about the financial markets at a conference in Washington D.C. at 1:00 pm ET.
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