Dollar index holds near 12-year peak in light trade

Investing.com –

Investing.com – The dollar remained close to twelve-year highs against the other major currencies on Monday, as demand for the greenback after slipping in the wake of Friday’s U.S. jobs report, which indicated that the Federal Reserve could keep rates on hold for longer.

EUR/USD was down 0.18% to 1.1821, closing in on last Thursday’s nine-year trough of 1.1753.

The U.S. economy added 252,000 jobs in December the Labor Department said Friday, more than the 240,000 forecast by economists. The unemployment rate ticked down to a six-and-a-half year low 5.6%.

But average earnings fell by 0.2% last month and were up by only 1.7% from a year earlier.

The report prompted markets to push back expectations for the first hike in U.S. interest rates to late-2015.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose 0.16% to 92.32, not far from the 12-year peaks of 92.76 scaled last week.

The euro continued to be pressured lower by the prospects for quantitative easing by the European Central Bank as soon as its next meeting on January 22.

Over the weekend, the governor of the Italy’s central bank warned that the euro zone is at risk of further deflation and said the best way to combat that threat is through purchasing government bonds.

USD/JPY edged up 0.08% to 118.55 in quiet trade, off overnight lows of 118.10. Markets in Japan were closed for a holiday on Monday.

The pound slipped lower, with GBP/USD easing 0.08% to 1.5146 as recent survey data pointing to a slowdown in growth at the end of last year fuelled expectations that interest rates will remain on hold for most of 2015.

USD/CHF added 0.16% to trade at 1.0160.

The commodity-exposed Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars were broadly lower as a rout in global oil prices continued. AUD/USD declined 0.63% to 0.8150, NZD/USD tumbled 1.05% to 0.7757 and USD/CAD climbed 0.55% to fresh five-and-a-half year highs at 1.1932.

Benchmark Brent crude dropped over 5% on Monday after Goldman Sachs slashed its 2015 price forecast, citing rising global supplies.

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