The US dollar is holding its gains to finish the trading week as investors get spooked by a worse-than-expected September jobs report. But the main headline maker is that President Donald Trump and the First Lady tested positive for COVID-19. This was the curveball tossed into the broader financial market with a month to go until the 2020 election. How will the buck react in the coming days?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the US economy added 661,000 new jobs in September, coming in below the market forecast of 850,000. The unemployment rate fell to 7.9%, better than the median estimate of 8.2%. This is the last jobs report before the 2020 presidential election.
The biggest job gains were seen in leisure and hospitality, retail, health care, and professional and business services. Manufacturing added 66,000 jobs, while government payrolls cratered 216,000.
Average hourly earnings edged up 0.1%, average weekly hours increased to 34.7, and the labor force participation rate declined to 61.4%.
Last month, 1.489 million new positions were created, while the jobless rate was 8.4%. The labor force participation rate stood at 61.7%.
On Thursday, the Department of Labor reported that the number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits clocked in at 837,000 in the week ending September 26, the lowest reading in six months.
On Thursday night, President Donald Trump announced that he and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for the coronavirus. The announcement came after it was discovered that top White House aide, Hope Hicks, tested positive for COVID-19.
President Trump said in a statement that he would be starting the quarantine process immediately.
Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!
Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, tested negative for the virus.
Financial markets crashed overnight, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged as much as 500 points. In pre-market trading, the leading benchmarks slumped as much as 2%.
The bond market was deep in red territory soon after it was reported. The benchmark 10-year Treasury slipped 1.6 basis point to 0.661%. The two-year note dipped 0.6 basis point to 0.125%, while the 30-year bond shed 1.5 basis point to 1.44%.
The greenback endured choppy trading in overnight trading. The US Dollar Index, which gauges the greenback against a basket of currencies, rose 0.1% to 93.80, from an opening of 93.71. The index will record a weekly loss of 0.93%, but it did finish September nearly 2% higher.
The USD/CAD currency pair climbed 0.16% to 1.3312, from an opening of 1.3291, at 12:48 GMT on Friday. The EUR/USD advanced 0.24% to 1.3323, from an opening of 1.3289.
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