US Dollar Surges on Strong April Jobs Report

The US dollar is surging to finish the trading week, buoyed by an incredible April jobs report and other data that suggests the economic slowdown worries may be unfounded after all, even with some weak pockets. The greenback is making solid gains against multiple currencies on Friday.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the US economy added 263,000 new jobs, driving the unemployment rate to a 49-year low of 3.6%, from 3.8% in March. The market had forecast a monthly gain of 217,000.
Most of the key sectors saw jobs gains, including professional and business services (76,000), construction (33,000), healthcare (27,000), government (27,000), and manufacturing (4,000). Only three areas of the economy reported declines: retail (12,000), utilities (3,200), and mining and logging (3,000).
The labor report further found that average hourly wages rose six cents, or 0.2%, to $27.77 per hour. The 12-month wage rate was unchanged, but it was still up 3.2%. The number of hours worked fell 0.1 hour to 34.4 hours in April.
In other data, the US Census Bureau reported that the trade deficit in goods rose 0.7% to $71.4 billion in the first quarter, which is in line with the market estimate of a $72 billion trade gap. Imports rose at a faster pace than exports. Imports found support in automobiles, food, and industrial supplies. Exports were driven by agricultural products. The same report found that advanced retail inventories dipped 0.3%.
March factory orders surged 1.9% in March, up from the 0.3% contraction in February, reports the Census Bureau. Wholesale inventories were flat in March.
The US dollar benefited this week from the Federal Reserve confirming that it does not intend to cut interest rates, despite repeated calls from the White House to cut rates by a full percentage point from the current range of 2.25% to 2.50%. At the same time, the US central bank only expects to raise rates just once over the next two years.
The USD/CAD currency pair tumbled 0.27% to 1.3441, from an opening of 1.3475, at 12:35 GMT on Friday. The EUR/USD fell 0.1% to 1.1164, from an opening of 1.1180.

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