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Dollar Rises As Strong Private Sector Jobs Data Raises Rate Hike Prospect


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The U.S. dollar climbed higher against its major rivals on Thursday after data showing a bigger than expected increase in the nation’s private sector employment supported expectations for further interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve in the upcoming months.

Data released by the payroll processor ADP this morning showed that private sector employment jumped by 235,000 jobs in December after surging by an upwardly revised 182,000 jobs in November.

Economists had expected employment to jump by about 150,000 jobs compared to the addition of 127,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

The dollar’s uptick was also due to the minutes from the Fed’s December meeting. The minutes showed that the policymakers cautioned against loosening policy too soon, and supported keeping interest rates higher for some more months.

Data released by the Labor Department this morning showed initial jobless claims slipped to 204,000 last week, a decrease of 19,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 223,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to come in unchanged compared to the 225,000 originally reported for the previous week.

A separate report released by the Commerce Department showed the U.S. trade deficit narrowed significantly more than expected in the month of November.

The dollar index, which surged to 105.27, was last seen at 105.12, up 0.84% from the previous close.

Against the Euro, the dollar settled at 1.0523 from around 1.0600.

The dollar firmed to 1.1911 against Pound Sterling from above 1.2050, while settling at 133.40 yen, strengthening from around 132.50 yen.

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