Loss of nursing dollars after employment data spoils recovery narrative; buoyant pound sterling By Reuters

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© Reuters.

By Kevin Buckland TOKYO (Reuters) – The US dollar maintained its biggest loss in 10 days on Friday after disappointing US labor market data hit optimism over the country’s rapid recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The dollar continued to oppose its traditional role as safe harbor currency, falling in sympathy with US stocks overnight after an unexpected spike in weekly jobless claims dampened the economic outlook. The British pound was trading near a nearly three-year high reached overnight, when it rose the most in more than a month, amid Britain’s aggressive vaccination program. It was little changed at 90.584 at the start of the Asian session, after a 0.4% drop overnight snapped a two-day winning streak. During the week, the indicator has more or less returned to breakeven. The bland labor data series is weighing on the dollar even as other indicators have shown resilience, and as President Joe Biden‘s pandemic relief efforts take shape, including a proposed $ 1.9 trillion spending package. “The prospect of massive fiscal stimulus from the US plus a successful vaccine launch are strong arguments for betting on a US recovery this year,” wrote Rodrigo Catril, currency strategist at National Australia Bank (OTC 🙂 in Sydney, on a customer note. “But the overnight jobless claims data serves as a reminder of the unevenness of the recovery so far.” The British pound remained virtually flat at $ 1.3965 on Friday after a 0.8% jump in the prior session, when it rose to $ 1.3986 for the first time since April 2018. The euro changed little to $ 1.2089 after rising 0.4% overnight. The dollar bought 105.695 yen, little change after a two-day retreat from a five-month high of 106.225 reached on Wednesday. In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin continued to hover around $ 51,500, consolidating after hitting a record high of $ 52,640 on Wednesday in a rally fueled by backing from Tesla (NASDAQ 🙂 Inc and others. It has risen about 78% so far in 2021, after more than quadrupled last year. Ethereum, a smaller rival, rose to a record $ 1,951.89 on Friday, topping the previous day’s high. It has increased 162% this year. On Thursday, chipmaker Nvidia (NASDAQ 🙂 Corp announced a new processor specifically designed to mine ethereum.

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