* U.S. jobs data disappoints investors betting on cut in
* Syria concerns cause some intraday volatility
NEW YORK, Sept 6 The dollar fell from a
seven-week high against the euro on Friday after a highly
anticipated U.S. jobs report disappointed investors who had
hoped it would ease the way for the Federal Reserve to begin
paring back its monetary stimulus this month.
U.S. job growth was lower than expected in August and the
unemployment rate dropped to a 4-1/2-year low as more people
gave up the search for work, which could delay Fed plans to
scale back its massive stimulus, possibly at its next meeting
Sept. 17 and 18.
Nonfarm payrolls increased 169,000 last month, the Labor
Department said, adding to signs that third-quarter economic
growth may have slowed. The unemployment rate was 7.3 percent.
The job counts for June and July were revised to show 74,000
fewer positions added than previously reported.
"Although the unemployment rate was lower, there were
negative revisions of 74,000 and that has pushed both U.S.
yields and the dollar lower," said Kiran Kowshik, currency
strategist at BNP Paribas, New York.
"But those downward revisions come after many months of
upward revisions. So overall, I think the trend still shows an
improving labor market. We at BNP Paribas believe that the
Federal Reserve will taper in December anyway, so this report is
still consistent with that view."
The report slammed dollar investors and reversed early
trading patterns. The euro was last up 0.4 percent at $1.3168
and the dollar was down 1.2 percent against the yen
at 98.89 yen.
The dollar was also hurt by moves into the Swiss franc and
yen as risk aversion rose on concerns about military action
against Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia will
maintain its long-standing military and economic support for
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.. The dollar
fell 0.8 percent against the Swiss franc.
U.S. President Barack Obama has so far defied pressure to
abandon plans for air strikes against Syria at a summit on
Friday which left world leaders divided on the conflict but
united behind a call to spur economic growth..
Prior to the jobs data, the euro fell to $1.3103, a
seven-week low, with traders citing a reported option barrier at
$1.3100. The euro was also hurt by below-forecast German
industrial output data.
The dollar hit a six-week high above 100 yen in
Asian trade before cautious Japanese exporters took that
opportunity to convert dollars to yen just in case the U.S.
payrolls data proved a disappointment. The session trough was a
The dollar index was at 82.184, down 0.5 percent, not
far from a recent seven-week peak of 82.671.
The prospect of the Fed withdrawing some of the flood of
cheap dollars, which has benefited emerging markets in recent
years, has prompted a round of soul-searching and policy
discussions among leading developing nations.
"This NFP (nonfarm payrolls) number is a major fail for the
U.S. administration," said Douglas Borthwick, managing director
at Chapdelaine Foreign Exchange in New York.
"Today's data, in combination with Syrian uncertainties, are
likely to keep the U.S. Fed on the sidelines for now," he said.
Despite gains on Friday, the euro fell for the second
straight week with a 0.4 percent decline in the last five days
adding to the 1.2 percent drop seen last week. The dollar gained
0.7 percent against the yen this week.