October 3, 2018 / 7:51 PM / 18 days ago

CORRECTED-FOREX-Dollar gains after data bolsters growth view, Italy weighs on euro

 (Corrects price in third-last paragraph)
    * ADP jobs data for September highest since February
    * U.S. service sector activity at 21-year high
    * Concerns about Italian budget negotiations weigh on euro 

    By Karen Brettell
    NEW YORK, Oct 3 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar gained on
Wednesday as data supported the view that the U.S. economy is in
strong shape and as concerns about Italy’s budget negotiations
continued to weigh on the euro.
    U.S. services sector activity raced to a 21-year high in
September and companies boosted hiring, signs of enduring
strength in the economy at the end of the third quarter.

    Private employers also added 230,000 jobs in September, the
most since February, according to the ADP National Employment
Report on Wednesday. That was more than economists’ expectations
of 185,000 jobs.
    The data is consistent with the Federal Reserve’s message
last week and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's comments on Tuesday
that the U.S. central bank is “still very much committed to a
gradual path when it comes to rate hikes going forward,” said
Bipan Rai, head of North American foreign exchange strategy at
CIBC Capital Markets in Toronto.
    Powell on Tuesday hailed a "remarkably positive outlook" for
the U.S. economy that he feels is on the verge of a
"historically rare" era of ultra-low unemployment and tame
prices.
    The Fed last Wednesday raised interest rates as expected and
said it foresees another rate hike in December, three more next
year and one in 2020.
    The dollar is outperforming as U.S. growth remains strong
while economic data in other large economies including the
eurozone has come in below expectations.
    “One of the reasons we think why the dollar has been so bid
in the last several months has been because the U.S. economy has
been performing reasonably well, whereas we’ve seen a material
slowdown in terms of data coming out of the eurozone and Japan
and other large economies,” said Rai.
    The euro is also being hurt by uncertainty surrounding
Italy's debt, fiscal plans and future ties with Europe, which
have unnerved markets and exacerbated tensions with other
eurozone leaders.
    The euro has been testing key technical support at
$1.1510-$1.1508, which was a temporary low set in June.
    “This MUST hold on a closing basis for an overall upside
bias to remain intact,” Karen Jones, an analyst at Commerzbank
wrote in a report on Wednesday.
    A break below this level would be viewed as bearish and
likely result in further weakness to around $1.13, said Jones.
That level was a one-year low reached in August.
    
    ========================================================
    Currency bid prices at 3:36PM (1936 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
                                              Session                                           
 Euro/Dollar      EUR=        $1.1515        $1.1546     -0.27%         -4.01%      +1.1593     +1.1510
 Dollar/Yen       JPY=        114.3000       113.6600    +0.56%         +1.46%      +114.4400   +113.5300
 Euro/Yen         EURJPY=     131.64         131.22      +0.32%         -2.62%      +131.9600   +130.9800
 Dollar/Swiss     CHF=        0.9899         0.9838      +0.62%         +1.60%      +0.9904     +0.9834
 Sterling/Dollar  GBP=        1.2974         1.2977      -0.02%         -4.00%      +1.3022     +1.2964
 Dollar/Canadian  CAD=        1.2847         1.2821      +0.20%         +2.15%      +1.2853     +1.2807
 Australian/Doll  AUD=        0.7120         0.7186      -0.92%         -8.73%      +0.7197     +0.7114
 ar                                                                                             
 Euro/Swiss       EURCHF=     1.1401         1.1361      +0.35%         -2.46%      +1.1421     +1.1359
 Euro/Sterling    EURGBP=     0.8873         0.8895      -0.25%         -0.11%      +0.8918     +0.8859
 NZ Dollar/Dolar  NZD=        0.6531         0.6592      -0.93%         -7.83%      +0.6593     +0.6527
 Dollar/Norway    NOK=        8.2047         8.1729      +0.39%         -0.03%      +8.2136     +8.1477
 Euro/Norway      EURNOK=     9.4493         9.4388      +0.11%         -4.05%      +9.4571     +9.4344
 Dollar/Sweden    SEK=        9.0323         9.0068      +0.01%         +10.14%     +9.0388     +8.9567
 Euro/Sweden      EURSEK=     10.4034        10.4021     +0.01%         +5.74%      +10.4200    +10.3735
 
 (Reporting by Karen Brettell; editing by Susan Thomas and James
Dalgleish)
  
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