The US dollar took a hit against most major currencies Friday after a disappointing jobs report suggested the Federal Reserve’s easy-money policies may not be reversed anytime soon.
Near 2130 GMT, the euro traded at $1.2990, up from $1.2934 late Thursday. The dollar also weakened against the British pound and the Swiss franc. An exception was the Japanese yen, which continued to show weakness against major currencies after the Bank of Japan’s exceptionally aggressive monetary policy was announced Thursday.
The dollar traded at 97.54 yen, up from 96.33 late Thursday, while the euro bought 126.70 yen, up from 124.60. Some analysts expressed shock at Friday’s US jobs report, which showed the US added just 88,000 jobs in March, less than half the number estimated.
“Data had begun to turn less bright the past several weeks for the world’s largest economy, but no one expected to see a March labor market report of such a poor quality,” said Christopher Vecchio, currency analyst at DailyFX.
“It is evident that the US labor market can no longer be viewed as improving, but instead, just barely treading water,” Vecchio said.
Kathy Lien, a managing director at BK Asset Management, said the weak jobs report could push back the Federal Reserve’s timing for reversing its stimulus measures.
“A decline like the one seen today is the exact reason why the central bank is concerned about the sustainability of labor market improvements,” Lien wrote in a research note.
She added that the Fed could still shift policy away from stimulus if other economic indicators were stronger. She pointed to next Friday’s retail sales report as especially important. Lien characterized the Bank of Japan’s monetary policy moves this week as historic in nature.
“Basically what the Bank of Japan has done is officially eliminate any reason to buy yen over the next two years,” Lien wrote, adding that the dollar would likely rise further against the yen. The British pound traded at $1.5337, up from $1.5237 late Thursday. The dollar fetched 0.9356 Swiss franc, down from 0.9396 franc.