* Euro slips, but on track for strong weekly gains
* SNB reserves data suggests intervention to weaken franc
* Danish crown steady, little impact from latest rate cut (Updates prices, adds fresh comment)
By Anirban Nag
LONDON, Feb 6 (Reuters) – The dollar rose against a basket of currencies on Friday, before the release of U.S. employment data that should provide more clues on when the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates.
A solid jobs report and a rebound in wages would favour the dollar by reviving expectations the Fed might raise rates as early as mid-year. Disappointing jobs data and signs that wages are not improving would weigh on the dollar, traders said.
Non-farm payrolls probably added 234,000 jobs last month, according to a Reuters survey, after gaining 252,000 in December. That would mark the 12th straight month of job gains above 200,000, the longest streak since 1994.
“Nothing is more likely to point towards a medium-term rise in inflation than growing wages,” said Esther Reichelt, a currency strategist at Commerzbank.
“In December, these had recorded a surprise fall, which suggests we could see a countermove in January. If the wage data disappoints, the going will get tough for the dollar.”
The dollar index was up 0.15 percent at 93.706. It has retreated over the past couple of weeks after advancing to an 11-year high of 95.481 on Jan. 23.
The dollar was little changed against the yen at 117.32 yen but rising against the euro. The single currency was down 0.3 percent at $ 1.1440, after surging 1.2 percent the previous day, partly because of talk the Swiss National Bank had bought euros to weaken the Swiss franc.
Data from the SNB on Friday showed foreign exchange reserves rose in January to 498.398 billion francs, reinforcing the impression that it has been intervening to weaken the franc .
The SNB surprised markets by scrapping a three-year-old cap on the value of the franc of 1.20 francs per euro last month. The central bank later said that policy would have cost 100 billion francs to defend in January alone.
“Unofficial SNB intervention in euro/Swiss franc seems likely to persist, which alongside purchases by the Danish Central Bank represent a significant marginal buyer (of euros),” said Josh O’Byrne, currency strategist at Citi.
The Danish crown steadied, recovering from a slip on Thursday after a fourth interest rate cut in three weeks. The euro was 0.01 percent higher at 7.4440 crowns, with traders citing intervention by the central bank in recent days to weaken the crown.
(Editing by Larry King)
- Banking & Budgeting