April 4, 2014 / 2:15 PM / in 4 years

FOREX-Dollar dips after U.S. data shows jobs growth

* Dollar slides against euro, yen

* “Goldilocks” jobs report shy of forecasts

* Australian dollar climbs (Adds dollar decline, quotes, new prices, changes byline, dateline; previous LONDON)

By Michael Connor

NEW YORK, April 4 (Reuters) - The dollar backed away from early gains and declined against other major currencies on Friday even though U.S. data showed solid jobs gains for a second straight month.

In trading after the March jobs report, which eases the way for the U.S. Federal Reserve to wind up its bond-buying program, the dollar index was off 0.06 percent at 80.425. Earlier it touched 80.599, its highest level since Feb. 27.

The greenback was down 0.13 percent against the euro at $1.3700 and down 0.14 percent against the Japanese yen at 103.75 yen after hitting a session high of 104.12 yen in trading immediately after the employment reports.

“The numbers were sufficiently in line so the bigger picture isn’t changed going forward for the Fed,” said currency strategist Cameron Umetsu at UBS in Stamford, Connecticut.

U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased by 192,000 jobs last month after rising 197,000 in February, the Labor Department said. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent, as Americans flooded the labor market.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected employment to increase by 200,000 last month and the unemployment rate to fall one-tenth of a percentage point.

Some traders hoping the jobs data would be more robust were disappointed, though the report will likely encourage the Fed to continue reducing its massive monetary stimulus, a process known as tapering, according to Anthony Valeri, investment strategist at LPL Financial in San Diego.

“It’s a Goldilocks report, not too warm and not too cold, and puts pressure on the next report in May to be good,” Valeri said. “It doesn’t change the pace of tapering and shows the economy is still on track.”


On Thursday the euro had hit a one-month low against the dollar after ECB President Mario Draghi said the Governing Council was unanimous in its commitment to also using “unconventional instruments within its mandate in order to cope effectively with risks of a too-prolonged period of low inflation.”

Unconventional instruments include quantitative easing - essentially, printing of money to buy assets. Some euro zone central bankers considered such measures highly undesirable until now.

The growth-sensitive Australian dollar got a boost after the U.S. jobs report and touched a session high of $0.9290, before settling back to $0.9279 for a gain for the day of 0.55 percent. (Additional Reporting By Anirban Nag in London; Editing by Peter Galloway)

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