Euro hits session lows amid Draghi, US jobs report

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The U.S. dollar was higher against the euro on Friday after stronger-than-expected U.S. monthly jobs data, as markets continued to digest Thursday's unexpectedly small stimulus from the European Central Bank.

U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased 211,000 last month, the Labor Department said on Friday. September and October data was revised to show 35,000 more new jobs than first reported.

Initially, the dollar failed to rally against the euro following the report because of the ECB's decision to cut its deposit rate by just 10 basis points.

"There was so much pain in the market yesterday that the willingness to act has been relatively subdued," said Sebastien Galy, currency strategist at Deutsche Bank in New York, on the dollar's minor gains against the euro.

Don't confuse a stall in the dollar rally for the end: Pro
Don't confuse a stall in the dollar rally for the end: Pro

The dollar also gained against the and Swiss franc, which helped further boost the U.S. dollar index. The dollar was last up 0.55 percent at 123.21 yen, and was last up 0.61 percent against the Swiss franc at 0.9967 franc.

The euro was last down 0.62 percent against the dollar at $1.0871. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was last up 0.74 percent at 98.34.

The common currency also hit its session low as ECB President Mario Draghi delivered a speech in New York. "QE is here to stay," he said, adding that the central bank can re-calibrate the program if needed.

A clerk handles dollars and euros at a money exchange office in Paris.
Euro tops $1.09 after ECB decision, Draghi comments

Investors scrambled to unwind hefty short euro positions on Thursday after a bare-minimum easing package in which the ECB cut its deposit rate by a mere 10 basis points and extended its asset buys by six months.

That led the euro to shoot 3.1 percent higher against the dollar to mark its biggest one-day percentage gain in nearly seven years and its highest level in a month, at $1.0981.

"The ECB overshadowed today's data point," said Chris Gaffney, president of EverBank World Markets in St. Louis, in reference to the U.S. jobs data.