FOREX-After stellar July, dollar off to pedestrian start in August

Sun Aug 3, 2014 7:41pm EDT

Related Topics

* Dollar nurses losses after jobs data disappoints bulls

* Euro squeezes higher, but wary as ECB policy meeting looms

* Aussie dollar eyes retail sales ahead of RBA policy review

By Ian Chua

SYDNEY, Aug 4 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar got off to a calm start on Monday, having suffered its biggest one-day fall in nearly a month after a batch of economic data led markets to push back expectations for the start of the Federal Reserve's rate-tightening cycle.

U.S. jobs growth slowed in July, the unemployment rate unexpectedly edged up and inflation was restrained, a mix of figures that should give the Fed plenty of room to keep interest rates low for a while yet.

"The July jobs data won't change the Fed's benign stance as it was about as "goldilocks" as it could be," said Shane Oliver, Head of Investment Strategy at AMP Capital in Sydney.

The dollar index was last at 81.321, having retreated from a 10-1/2 month peak of 81.573. It had fallen 0.2 percent on Friday, a modest decline by any measure but still the biggest one-day fall in over three weeks.

The index had rallied more than 2 percent in July, a feat not seen in over a year, as improving U.S. data convinced markets the an interest rate rise could be less than 12 months away.

So any disappointment in the jobs figures was always going to prompt a bit of profit taking, traders said.

That allowed the euro to push back above $1.3400 and off an eight-month trough of $1.3366 plumbed last week. Against the yen, the greenback recoiled to 102.56, having stretched to a near four-month high of 103.15.

The safe-haven yen also gained ground against the Australian and New Zealand dollars, partly supported by safety flows as worries about Argentina's debt default and tensions between Russia and the West sent European and U.S. shares lower.

Not likely to help risk appetite, data on Sunday showed growth in China's services sector slipped to a six-month low in July as new orders rose by their weakest rate in at least a year.

Broad softness in the greenback saw the Aussie dollar pop back above 93 U.S. cents, from two-month lows of $0.9275.

In the very short term, Aussie bulls will be looking to retail sales data due at 0130 GMT for fresh impetus, ahead of an interest rate meeting by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) on Tuesday.

The European Central Bank, Bank of Japan and Bank of England (BOE) will also feature this week, but as with the RBA, no policy action is expected from any of them. (Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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