US Dollar Retreats as Job Openings Decrease in August

The US dollar retreated against the euro on Wednesday after a fresh report revealed a weaker job market than what analysts had expected. The release also weighed on an index that tracks the greenback’s strength, pushing it to the lowest level in about two weeks.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said in a report on labor turnover for August that the month saw 6.082 million job openings, which missed estimates of 6.125 million openings. The number of job openings in July was 6.140 million.

About 71,000 new positions that were made available in the health care and social assistance sector were overshadowed by a 95,000 decrease in the services sector. The durable goods manufacturing sector had 31,000 job openings, while nondurable goods manufacturing saw a drop of 48,000 in available positions.

The report added that the number of hires remained little changed from the previous month at 5.4 million in August. The number of quits, layoffs, and other separations was also little changed at 5.2 million. The net employment change over the 12 months ending in August was 2.1 million.

While a decrease in job openings often reflects strong demand for workers, the small drop in job openings in August highlighted the difficulties businesses experienced to find new employees. The US economy has been steadily growing in 2017, but investors worry that the tight labor market may limit growth potential.

EUR/USD traded at 1.1839 as of 14:50 GMT on Wednesday after rising to 1.1854 at 13:55 GMT, the pair’s strongest level since September 26. EUR/USD began trading today at 1.1814.

The Dollar Index, which measures the performance of the US currency against a basket of its major peers, dropped to 93.10 as of 14:46 GMT today, the index’s weakest level since September 29. The index ended Tuesday at 93.29.

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