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The dollar dropped to the lowest in three weeks as reports showed slower-than-forecast jobs growth and reduced factory output, adding to concern the U.S. economy is slowing.
The U.S. currency weakened after a private survey showed employment increased by 38,000 last month, the smallest gain since September and a measure of manufacturing output in May declined more than forecast.
U.S. employment increased last month after a revised 177,000 gain in April, according to figures from ADP Employer Services. The median estimate called for a 175,000 advance for May.
The Labor Department will release May unemployment figures June 3. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. revised its estimate today for an increase in May nonfarm payrolls to 100,000 from 150,000, while Citigroup Inc. trimmed its projection to 100,000 from 170,000.
The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index fell to 53.5 in May from 60.4 the prior month. Economists projected the gauge would drop to 57.1.
“Weak data equals a weak dollar,” said Ray Attrill, a senior currency strategist at BNP Paribas SA. “It’s not surprising to see the dollar weaken substantially on the basis of the data.”
The Swiss franc strengthened as retail sales rose in April at the fastest rate in two years, boosting speculation the Swiss National Bank may raise borrowing costs. Retail sales climbed 7.5% in the year after a 0.2% drop in March, the most since April 2009.
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