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US currency recovered from lows, printed earlier ersus the Swiss franc and yen following the U.S. employment unexpectedly stagnated in August as investors bet the Federal Reserve will take further steps to stimulate growth.
The greenback headed for its first weekly loss in a month versus the franc amid speculation the Fed may start a third round of asset purchases, or quantitative easing.
“This number couldn’t get any worse; the nonfarm payrolls report makes QE3 in September a near certainty,” said Kathy Lien at GFT Forex. “This number was abysmally weak.”
U.S. payrolls were unchanged last month, the weakest reading since September 2010, after an 85,000 gain in July that was less than initially estimated, Labor Department data showed today. The median forecast called for a rise of 65,000.
Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said last week the central bank still has tools to boost a recovery that has been weaker than forecast, while sticking to his view that growth will pick up. He spoke at a conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. At last year’s event, he foreshadowed the Federal Open Market Committee’s second round of quantitative easing, the purchase of $600 billion of Treasuries from November through June.
Minutes of policy makers’ last meeting on Aug. 9 showed some FOMC members favored more aggressive action to stimulate the economy. The minutes were released Aug. 30.
The euro fell on concern Europe’s debt crisis is worsening.
The euro weakened as survey showed factory orders in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, likely decreased 1% in July from the prior month. The Economy Ministry will report the data on Sept. 6.
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