Dollar surges on strong U.S. jobs data, more room to rise

The U.S. dollar reached fresh multiyear highs on Friday after a stronger-than-forecast November U.S. jobs report increased expectations the Federal Reserve may begin raising interest rates sooner than previously thought.

Employers added the most workers in nearly three years in November and wages rose, the latest U.S. employment report showed. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 321,000, better than forecasts for an increase of 230,000. The unemployment rate held steady at a six-year low of 5.8 percent.

Earlier this week U.S. central bank officials such as New York Fed President William Dudley and Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer made comments that pointed toward rate increases in response to stronger U.S. economic figures, maintaining a focus on what the data showed.


The euro fell 0.70 percent to $1.2290. In the immediate trading after the payrolls data the euro slid to $1.2271, its weakest since mid-August 2012.

On Thursday, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said the central bank would decide early next year whether to take fresh action to revive the economy. Draghi also said any decision by the bank's Governing Council need not be unanimous to begin quantitative easing measures, including buying of sovereign bonds in an effort to spur borrowing and investment.

Some in the market were disappointed Draghi did not find an even more explicit way of moving the bank closer to outright quantitative easing.

But his language, and a veiled warning that opposition from German policymakers would not stand in the way of the governing council acting if need be, pointed towards the launch of bond-buying in the first quarter.

The U.S. dollar index hit a peak of 89.467, its highest since early March 2009, up 0.86 percent on the day.

The slide in crude oil prices to below $66 a barrel continued to undermine the Norwegian crown. At one point the dollar advanced 1.75 percent to 7.1793 crowns, its strongest since March 2009. It traded late at 7.1263 crowns, for a 1 percent gain on the day.

—By Reuters

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