US Dollar Mixed Amid Soft December Jobs Report

The US dollar is mixed against its currency rivals at the end of the trading week, buoyed by a tepid jobs report that fell short of the market forecasts. The December labor report suggested that job creation may be tapering off in a robust economy.

Last month, the US economy added 145,000 new jobs, down from the 266,000 increase in November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The market had penciled in a gain of 164,000. The unemployment rate was unchanged at a 50-year low of 3.5%.
For the ninth straight year, the US has created more than two million jobs per annum.
The monthly jobs report also found that average hourly earnings rose 0.1% to a year-on-year jump of 2.9% and average weekly hours dipped to 34.3 hours. The labor force participation rate was flat at 63.2%.
Notable job gains were situated in retail and healthcare, but losses were pronounced in mining. Manufacturing payrolls shed 6,000 and government jobs picked up 12,000.
The US Dollar Index slipped 0.03% to 97.42, from an opening of 97.43. The greenback, which is a measurement of the dollar against a basket of currencies, is still on track for a weekly advance of 0.7%. It is already up 1.2% so far this year.
North of the border, the Canadian economy added 38,400 new jobs last month, up from the disastrous 38,400 losses in November. The unemployment rate also dropped from 5.9% to 5.6%. This helped the loonie against the greenback to finish the trading week.
The USD/CAD currency pair fell 0.16% to 1.3035, from an opening of 1.3057, at 12:40 GMT on Friday. The EUR/USD rose 0.07% to 1.1114, from an opening of 1.1107.

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