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Dollar index holds losses after ADP US August jobs data, yen slips as global tensions abate

The dollar held its earlier losses versus a basket of currencies on Thursday as payroll processor ADP said U.S. private hiring came in stronger than expected in August, while it revised lower its job reading for July.

An index that tracks the greenback against the euro, yen, sterling and three other currencies was down 0.05% at 98.40. It touched a one-week low of 98.14 earlier Thursday.

"We have relatively robust U.S. employment data that suggest the U.S. is still the consumer of last resort for the world economy," Schamotta said.

Payroll processor ADP said U.S. companies hired 195,000 workers in August, which was more than the 158,000 increase that analysts polled by Reuters had forecast. Traders and analysts await the government's monthly payrolls report due at 8:30 a.m. on Friday as a confirmation of resilience in the labor market.

The yen fell on Thursday as global tensions including the U.S.-China trade conflict showed signs of thawing, bolstering investor confidence and reducing demand for safe-haven currencies. The pound rose to its highest level against the dollar in more than a month on hopes that a no-deal Brexit would be avoided.

"Funding currencies are in retreat on a ratcheting down of tensions on a global basis," said Karl Schamotta, director of global markets strategy at Cambridge Global Payments in Toronto.

The most notable development was China and the United States agreeing on Thursday to hold high-level talks in early October in Washington. That stoked hopes the world's biggest economies would move toward a deal to resolve their trade differences. Their heated rhetoric and tit-for-tat tariffs have rattled investors and their outlook on the global economy since this summer.

The dollar was up 0.53% at 106.975 yen after reaching 107.235 yen, which was its highest level since late July. Against the euro, the yen was 0.57% lower at 118.1 after falling to 118.6, marking a three-week low versus the common currency.

Sterling continued its rally after British lawmakers approved legislation on Wednesday to extend the Brexit deadline for the third time and rejected Prime Minister Boris Johnson's motion to hold a snap election.

The pound was last trading up 0.63% at $1.233, moving further from a three-year low reached on Tuesday. Against the euro, sterling gained 0.54% at 89.54 pence after touching near six-week high of 89.49 pence.