Dollar pulls back after jobs-inspired rally, Greece back in focus

The dollar gave back some ground on Monday as traders sold into a rally triggered by robust US jobs data, while Greece held investors’ focus after Athens reaffirmed its rejection of an international bailout programme.

The dollar index, an indication of the greenback’s performance against a basket of major currencies, slipped 0.3 per cent to 94.459, having gained over 1 per cent on Friday after the US employment figures.

Meanwhile, Greece was back on investors’ minds as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras remained adamant that improved bailout terms was the only way out for the debt-strapped nation.

But despite investor worries about what the Greek situation meant for the future of the euro zone, the euro rose 0.4 per cent to $ 1.1353, having lost more than 1.5 per cent against the dollar on Friday.

“This is purely a dollar correction and it’s going to provide us with another buying opportunity,” Morgan Stanley head of European FX strategy, Ian Stannard, said.

“The overall picture (for the euro) is still very negative and the position between Greece and the EU doesn’t seem to have improved … so any rebounds are going to provide a good selling opportunity.”

Also weighing on the dollar was a dip in the benchmark 10-year Treasury note yield, which posted its biggest rise in 1-1/2 years on Friday as the US jobs data stoked expectations that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates as early as June.

The dollar was down 0.5 percent at 118.61 yen, having scaled a one-month high of 119.23 after the data.

“Developments in Europe will remain in focus this week,” Barcalys chief Japan FX strategist, Shinichiro Kadota, said. “Improvements in risk sentiment resulting from these events should buoy dollar/yen, while signs of further confusion will have the opposite impact by damaging risk appetite.”

Euro zone finance ministers meet at the Eurogroup gathering on Wednesday, at which the Greek finance minister has said he will present a comprehensive proposal. The European Council meeting takes place the following day.

The euro has experienced wide swings this month, as hopes that Greece could win swift relief from its creditors alternated with worries a deal cannot be reached, raising the prospect of Greece leaving the euro.

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