Investing.com – The dollar held steady against the other major currencies on Monday, after rallying over 1% on Friday as strong U.S. employment data fuelled further expectations for an upcoming U.S. rate hike.
The dollar remained supported after the Labor Department reported on Friday that the U.S. economy added 257,000 jobs in January, far more than the 234,000 forecast by economists. December’s figure was revised to 329,000 from a previously reported 252,000.
The unemployment rate ticked up to 5.7% last month from December’s 5.6% hourly earnings and the participation rate both saw increases in January.
The upbeat jobs report was seen as strong enough to indicate that the Fed will remain on track to start raising rates from near zero levels as early as June.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was steady at 94.82.
EUR/USD was almost unchanged at 1.1319.
Sentiment on the euro remained vulnerable amid concerns over Greece after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Sunday that he would stick to plans to roll back austerity measures and reject an international bailout extension.
Ratings agency Standard and Poor’s downgraded Greece late Friday and warned that time is running out for Athens to reach an agreement on a new financing program with creditors.
Earlier Monday, official data showed that Germany’s trade surplus widened to €21.8 billion in December from €17.9 billion in November, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated surplus of €17.7 billion.
The pound slipped lower against the dollar, with GBP/USD down 0.18% to 1.5216, while USD/CHF edged down 0.12% to trade 0.9253
Elsewhere, USD/JPY declined 0.45% to trade at 118.58.
The safe-haven yen found support amid fresh concerns over a slowdown in China after official data on Sunday showed that exports fell 3.3% in January on a year-over-year basis, while imports dropped 19.9%, pointing to weakening domestic demand.
The Australian and New Zealand dollars were higher, with AUD/USD easing up 0.09% to 0.7805 and NZD/USD gaining 0.69% to 0.7412.
Data earlier showed that Australia’s newspaper job advertisements dropped 6.7% last month, after a 3.0% increase the previous month.
Internet job ads in Australia rose 1.5% in January, the report also showed, after a 1.8% gain in December.
Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar gained some ground, with USD/CAD slipping 0.14% to 1.2510.
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