Dollar falls after strong US jobs data

AP News
Posted: Mar 15, 2012 3:36 PM
Dollar falls after strong US jobs data

The dollar turned lower against most other currencies Thursday after two days of strong gains.

Overnight, the dollar hit a one-month high against the euro and an 11-month high against the yen. But the U.S. currency changed course and weakened after the government released strong U.S. jobs and manufacturing data.

The government said applications for unemployment benefits fell last week to 351,000, matching a four-year low. That's a sign that the job market is improving.

In addition, manufacturing activity rose in New York rose to a 21-month high and in Philadelphia to a nearly one-year high, the Federal Reserve said Thursday.

Traders tend to sell the dollar and buy riskier currencies such as the euro when they perceive the U.S. economy to be strengthening.

The euro rose to $1.3097 in late trading Thursday from $1.3024 late Wednesday. The euro fell to $1.3002 overnight, its lowest point against the dollar since Feb. 16.

The British pound rose Thursday to $1.5723 from $1.5675 late Wednesday.

The dollar fell to 83.38 Japanese yen from 83.72 yen. It had risen as high as 84.175 Japanese yen overnight, its highest point against the yen since April 13.

The dollar also fell to 0.9215 Swiss franc from 0.9302 Swiss franc and to 99.13 Canadian cents from 99.36 Canadian cents.

The greenback also fell against the Australian and New Zealand dollar, the Norwegian krone, the Hong Kong dollar, the South Korean Won and the Brazilian Real.