The US Dollar remained close to a 3-month peak during Asian trade on Friday after comments made by the head of the Federal Reserve Bank sent the currency higher. Jerome Powell maintained the central bank’s dovish stance in spite of the recent surge in bond market volatility. On Thursday, the Fed chief acknowledged that the latest sell-off in US Treasury instruments was notable, but not worrying enough that the Fed might consider an intervention. He further acknowledged that the Fed would maintain an ultra-loose policy until the economic recovery is much farther along. His comments soured sentiment with equity investors, and higher risk assets were also impacted, as evidenced by a slide in both the Aussie and Kiwi Dollars.
In Tokyo trading as of 10:59 am, the NZD/USD was trading at $0.7168, down 0.2199%, off the session trough of $0.71547. The AUD/USD was also lower at $0.7698, a loss of 0.1905%; the pair has ranged from a low of $0.76872 to a high of $0.77333.
Markets Eye NFP Report
On Thursday, the US Labor Department reported that continuing and initial claims for unemployment benefits were 4.295 million and 745,000, respectively. Analysts had predicted that there would be a slight rise in both sets of numbers, to 4.3 million and 750,000; initial jobless claims for the previous period were revised lower. On Wednesday, the ADP Employment Change report missed analysts’ predictions, coming in at 117,000 against an expected 177,000. The release later today of the February NFP report is expected to show a significant rise in new private sector jobs; analysts are predicting 182,000 new jobs will have been added.