NEW YORK (Reuters) - The euro fell against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday after strong U.S. economic data raised expectations the Federal Reserve will hike rates in September, while a combative address from Greece’s prime minister also weighed on the euro.
The ADP National Employment Report showed 237,000 private-sector U.S. jobs were created in June, handily exceeding the median expectation among economists surveyed by Reuters for a gain of 218,000. Other data showed construction spending in May hit the highest level since October 2008.
The ADP data bolstered expectations for a stronger-than-forecast U.S. June jobs report due Thursday, analysts said. Economists expect U.S. employers to have added 230,000 jobs in June, according to a Reuters poll.
“People are increasingly thinking that the payroll tomorrow will probably also be decent given the state of the data we had today,” said Jens Nordvig, global head of currency strategy at Nomura in New York.
He said a strong report would raise the likelihood of the Federal Reserve raising rates in September. Fed rate hikes are expected to boost the dollar by driving investment flows into the United States.
Nordvig said greater risk appetite led traders to bet against, or “short,” the euro, which hurt the currency.
In addition, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras urged Greeks to reject an international bailout deal, wrecking any prospect of repairing broken relations with EU partners before a referendum on Sunday that may decide Greece’s future in Europe.
The television address came less than 24 hours after Tsipras wrote a conciliatory letter to creditors asking for a new bailout that would accept many of their terms. The address put additional pressure on the euro, analysts said.
“I still think the market generally interprets news about a prospective Greek exit as news that’s negative for the euro,” said Thierry Albert Wizman, global interest rates and currencies strategist at Macquarie Ltd in New York.
The euro was last down 0.97 percent against the dollar, at $1.10440 EUR=EBS. The dollar was last up 0.56 percent against the yen, at 123.180 yen JPY=EBS. Against the Swiss franc, the dollar was up 1.46 percent, at 0.94890 franc, after hitting its highest level in three and a half weeks, at 0.94900 franc.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was last up 0.87 percent at 96.319 .DXY.
Reporting by Sam Forgione; Additional reporting by Patrick Graham in London; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Leslie Adler