* U.S. economy added 195,000 jobs in June, boosting dollar
* Dollar index hits nearly three-year high
* Potential Fed action stark contrast to ECB, BoE
NEW YORK, July 5 The dollar touched a five-week high against the
yen and a six-week peak against the euro on Friday as better-than-expected U.S.
jobs data reinforced expectations the Federal Reserve would start scaling back
its asset purchases as early as September.
Futures traders were also betting the U.S. central bank will start raising
short-term interest rates by September of next year, a step that would make
dollar assets more attractive.
Almost all the components of the U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for June were
positive for the economy, suggesting that the labor market was stabilizing.
Employers added 195,000 jobs, compared with forecasts of 165,000, while the
unemployment rate was steady at 7.6 percent as more people entered the
The U.S. Labor Department also revised payrolls for April and May to show
70,000 more jobs created than previously reported.
"The stronger-than-expected 195,000 payrolls in June should send U.S. rates
scurrying higher and bring the day of reckoning for quantitative easing that
much closer," said Joseph Trevisani, chief market strategist at
WorldWideMarkets. "The dollar will continue to benefit from the prospective
terminus of QE."
The euro fell as low as $1.2805 against the dollar, its weakest since
May 20. It was last trading at $1.2828, down 0.7 percent.
Against the yen, the dollar touched a peak of 101.13 yen, its highest
since May 31. It was last at 101.08, up 1.1 percent.
Some $5.05 billion in euros changed hands, using Reuters Dealing data, and
$2.5 billion in yen.
The euro fell against the dollar for the third straight week with a 1.4
percent decline so far this week. The dollar gained against the yen for the
third straight week with an almost 2 percent rise so far this week.
The greenback's gains pushed the dollar index to a high of 84.530, a
nearly three-year peak. By mid-afternoon, the dollar index was up 1.4 percent at
The Fed's potential reduction of stimulus measures was in sharp contrast
with statements from the European Central Bank and the Bank of England, which
vowed on Thursday to keep their monetary policies accommodative for some time.
"Overall, the data fits neatly in the 'QE3 taper' framework set forth by the
Federal Reserve at its June 19 policy meeting; translating roughly into a
stronger U.S. dollar," said Christopher Vecchio, currency analyst at DailyFX in
New York. "We remain long-term bullish the U.S. dollar, as the uptick in yields
bodes well for the world's reserve currency so long as inflation and labor
market data continue to improve."
The spread between the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury bond's yield
and comparable German Bunds was at its widest since
April 2010, pointing to more gains for the dollar.
Sterling, meanwhile, fell to a nearly four-month low of $1.4856
against the dollar and was last at $1.4905, down 1.1 percent.