* Traders await Friday's U.S. jobless report
* ADP employment report causes few ripples
(Adds ADP reaction, quotes, late prices and changes byline and
dateline; previous LONDON)
By Michael Connor
NEW YORK, April 2 The dollar was little changed
against a basket of major currencies on Wednesday after private
payrolls data showed U.S. businesses shaking off some of the
chill on hiring left by harsh winter weather.
The U.S. dollar index was flat at 80.09, with the
dollar unchanged against the yen at 103.61 after trading as low
as 103.59 yen shortly after the ADP National Employment Report
for March came in slightly below forecasts.
Employers added 191,000 workers last month, while gains for
February were revised upward, according to the report.
March U.S. nonfarm payrolls are scheduled for release by the
federal government on Friday. Some currency traders say a strong
showing will fuel a rally in the greenback.
"Everyone's still waiting for the actual jobs numbers on
Friday, and that's limiting the movement of the dollar," said
Nick Bennenbrock, currency strategist at Wells Fargo Securities
in New York. "It's muted."
Major currency pairs have all been stuck in tight ranges
since mid-February, with bets for a run higher by the dollar
having been thwarted by a combination of nerves over economic
slowdown in China and some worse than expected U.S. data.
That has begun to turn around in the past couple of weeks
and dealers are beginning to speculate the nonfarm payrolls
numbers on Friday may have the potential to turn the dollar
The heart of that argument is the assumption that, should
the numbers begin to look more robust, U.S. interest rates will
be raised early next year, while those in Europe and Japan will
stay flat or be suppressed further.
"When we had that signal from (U.S. Federal Reserve Chair)
Janet Yellen that rates could rise early next year, the line for
many was that they wanted more confirmation before really
betting on it," said a dealer at one large U.S. bank in London.
The euro was off 0.11 percent against the dollar at
$1.3777 but is looking more robust than it did a week ago, when
it was struck by hints that the Bundesbank's resistance to
outright money-printing by the European Central Bank may be
Several ECB officials have since emphasised the temporary
nature of current low inflation - 0.5 percent in March - and
that has supported expectations the bank will do nothing when it
ends its monthly policy meeting on Thursday.
(Additional Reporting By Patrick Graham in London; Editing by