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The dollar fell, reaching a one-month low against the yen, after a report showed U.S. employers in May added the fewest jobs in eight months, increasing concern the recovery is slowing.
The U.S. currency dropped to a record low against the Swiss franc as investors sought haven assets after the jobless rate unexpectedly rose to 9.1%.
The dollar has dropped 5.8% this year. The euro has gained 3% this year and the yen has dropped 4.7%.
U.S. payrolls increased by a less-than-projected 54,000 last month, after a revised 232,000 gain in April that was smaller than initially reported, Labor Department figures showed today. The median forecast called for payrolls to rise 165,000. The jobless rate climbed to the highest level this year from 9% a month earlier.
“It’s an ugly, ugly number. It shows a considerable slowdown in economic activity,” said Boris Schlossberg at GFT Forex.
The Institute for Supply Management’s index of U.S. non- manufacturing business increased to 54.6 in May from 52.8 a month earlier. The median forecast projected the measure would rise to 54.
A report earlier this week showed manufacturing in the U.S. last month expanded at the slowest pace since September. Home prices in 20 U.S. cities dropped to the lowest level since 2003 in March, another report showed.
The Fed has kept its benchmark interest rate at a record low of zero to 0.25% since December 2008. The European Central Bank raised its rate by 25 basis points in April and the Reserve Bank of Australia has raised its benchmark rate seven times since the financial crisis.
The euro rose to a one-month high against the dollar as Greece’s government said a review of the country’s economic progress by the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank concluded “positively.”
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