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Dollar holds up as hopes grow for US jobs turnaround

Chung Sung-Jun - Getty Images

The U.S. dollar held steady against major currencies on Monday, supported by hopes U.S. job growth would pick up in the wake of last week's mildly encouraging report on hiring and as tension over Ukraine remained contained.

Meanwhile, the Australian and Canadian dollars lost as much as half a percent against the greenback in the wake of a plunge in exports from China, stoking worries of further weakness in the world's No. 2 economy cutting into global growth.

"Despite some horrendous weather, the U.S. economy was reasonably resolute in February. We might get a strong (payroll) number in March," said Alan Ruskin, global head of G10 currency strategy at Deutsche Bank in New York. "This is a more constructive view on the U.S. economy and the dollar."

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The dollar index was little changed at 79.743, holding above four-month lows set prior to Friday's U.S. jobs data that showed a greater-than-forecast 175,000 workers found jobs in February. The euro traded near $1.39, modestly lower on the day.

The U.S. payrolls report countered a drop-off in expectations of more policy easing from the European Central Bank to keep the yen, dollar and euro in tight ranges. Another bearish batch of figures from Japan had limited impact.

Sterling was the other major mover, suffering from the shift in money market rates in the common currency's favor after the ECB meeting. It slid to 83.35 pence, its weakest in a month against the euro.

The Aussie had been on the way back up towards the end of last week, boosted by signs of improvement in its own economy. But like fellow commodity producer Canada, it depends heavily on China extending a decade of robust expansion.

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By Reuters

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