* Dollar index pulls further away from eight-month trough
* Solid U.S. private-sector hiring lifts hope for nonfarm payrolls
* Aussie dollar eyes RBA speech, retail sales data
By Ian Chua
SYDNEY, July 3 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar clung onto modest gains early on Thursday, having risen broadly on the back of a report that showed solid hiring in the U.S. private sector.
The figures from payrolls processor ADP added to a string of bullish U.S. data ranging from manufacturing to auto sales, supporting the view that the U.S. economy has bounced back smartly after a first-quarter slump.
Benchmark U.S. Treasury yields rose to the highest in over a week at 2.63 percent in reaction to the data, which in turned helped lift the dollar against a basket of major currencies.
The dollar index was last at 79.956, off an eight-week trough of 79.740 plumbed on Tuesday.
Against the yen, the greenback rose to 101.78, having only recently hit a six-week low of 101.23. The euro dipped to $1.3657, from Tuesday’s six-week high of $1.3724.
ADP said private employers added 281,000 workers to payrolls last month, the largest since November 2012, offering hopes for a healthy rise in nonfarm payrolls when the data is released later on Thursday.
“Our economists agree with market consensus looking for non-farm payrolls to rise by more than 200,000 for a fifth consecutive month,” analysts at BNP Paribas wrote in a note to clients.
“If the forecast turns out to be correct, this will mark the first five-month run of above 200,000 prints since January 2000.”
But anyone expecting a more hawkish tone from the Federal Reserve were left sorely disappointed after Fed Chair Janet Yellen stuck to her dovish script.
Speaking at an International Monetary Fund event on Wednesday, Yellen reiterated her view that regulation - not rate policy - needs to play the lead role in combating excessive financial risk-taking.
Analysts said Yellen was pushing back against some Fed officials who believe financial stability should be given a more prominent place in formulating monetary policy.
The modest rebound in the dollar saw its Australian counterpart fall back towards familiar territory, from an eight-month peak above 95 U.S. cents.
The Aussie last traded at $0.9440, well down from Tuesday’s peak of $0.9505. The market was quick to book profits on Wednesday in the wake of disappointing trade data.
Further selling could emerge if retail trade and building approvals due at 0130 GMT come in soft. Ahead of that, investors will be keeping a close eye on a speech by Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens.
Any mention of the local dollar being uncomfortably high could send the Aussie down a few pips.
China’s services PMI survey will also feature in Asia this morning although trading is likely to be subdued ahead of big-ticketed events including the European Central Bank (ECB) meeting.
“Although no action is expected from the ECB at its meeting today, we anticipate that it will maintain its dovish tone in the face of weak PMI prints, low inflation, and weak bank lending,” said analysts at BNP Paribas. (Editing by Shri Navaratnam)