U.S. dollar slipped on Monday in Asia following the release of the country’s job data. Progress on the Sino-U.S. trade front remained in focus after the latest round of negotiations wrapped up last Friday.
The U.S. dollar index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies was down 0.1% to 96.860 by 12:59 AM ET (04:59 GMT).
On Friday, government data showed U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose by 182,000, which is more than the expected 175,000, but average hourly earnings grew at a slower pace than anticipated, indicating that the economy was not firing on all cylinders and supported the Federal Reserve’s decision to extend its pause on hiking rates.
“The data supports the thesis that the Fed is on hold for a long time. Until wages flare higher, there is little threat of inflation topping the target,” BMO said. “At the same time, with the jobless rate likely to grind lower as the economy picks up modestly in the spring, there is no compelling reason to ease policy.”
Meanwhile, trade talks were in focus today as officials from Beijing and Washington concluded their latest round of trade talks last Friday.
Chinese official broadcaster CCTV reported that there was “new progress” in trade negotiations. The two sides have discussed issues including technology transfer, protection of intellectual property rights, and the bilateral trade balance.
Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, told CBS on Sunday that the two sides are “closer and closer” on a trade deal, although the White House said in a statement that “significant work remains, and the principals, deputy ministers, and delegation members will be in continuous contact to resolve outstanding issues.”
Elsewhere, the GBP/USD rose 0.2% to 1.3066 as the U.K. has asked the European Union for yet another extension until June 39.
EU leaders said Prime Minister Theresa May had not put forward credible reasons as to why the U.K. should be granted an extension for Brexit.
“If we are not able to understand the reason why the UK is asking for an extension, we cannot give a positive answer,” said French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire. German Justice Minister Katarina Barley tweeted: “This playing for time must end.”
The U.K. had originally been due to leave the EU on March 29, but the deadline was pushed back to April 12 to allow the U.K. parliament more time to approve the withdrawal agreement, which it has been unable to do.
The USD/JPY pair was down 0.3% to 111.39.