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The dollar dropped to the lowest level in more than a week against the euro after U.S. employers added fewer jobs in March than forecast, fueling speculation growth in the world’s biggest economy is slowing. U.S. payrolls grew by 88,000 workers last month, the least in nine months, after a revised 268,000 gain in February that was higher than first estimated, Labor Department figures showed in Washington. The median forecast economists was for a gain of 190,000. The labor-force participation rate fell to 63.3 percent, the lowest since May 1979. The jobless rate fell to 7.6 percent, from 7.7 percent. Employers added an average of 186,500 jobs a month over the previous six months.
The greenback fell for a third day versus the shared currency on bets the payrolls data will stiffen the Federal Reserve’s determination to keep buying bonds to spur growth. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and his Federal Open Market Committee colleagues are deploying record stimulus through an open-ended expansion of the Fed balance sheet after determining that the benefits from stoking a flagging economy outweigh any risk of financial instability or higher inflation.
The yen touched the weakest level since 2009 versus the greenback a day after the Bank of Japan outstripped forecasts and announced unprecedented economic stimulus measures. The dollar jumped as much as 3.6 percent yesterday against the yen, the most since October 2011, after the Bank of Japan said it will increase its bond purchases to 7.5 trillion yen ($73 billion) a month and double the monetary base, which includes cash in circulation, in two years. Policy makers under new Governor Haruhiko Kuroda are working to end 15 years of deflation and two decades of economic stagnation.
Canada’s dollar fell versus most of 31 major peers after the nation unexpectedly lost the most jobs last month since 2009. Employment fell by 54,500 positions, versus a Bloomberg survey forecast for an increase of 6,500.
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