Euro slides after ECB; focus now on nonfarm payrolls

The euro was stable during Asian session on Friday, consolidating losses made against the dollar after the European Central Bank policy meeting on Thursday. EURUSD traded around $1.1150. Yesterday the ECB left its monetary policy unchanged as expected, and modestly raised its forecasts for inflation and GDP growth in the Eurozone this year.
After the ECB, the next big focus for the markets will be the US nonfarm payrolls report today.

The dollar index was flat on Friday at 95.556 and ahead of the US jobs report which is expected to show the US economy added 160,000 jobs in May.

Commentary from Federal Reserve officials last month have helped markets become less pessimistic to the possibility that the central bank could raise interest rates at its policy meeting on June 14-15.

Gold, which is sensitive to US interest rate expectations, was flat at $1,211 an ounce on Friday, putting it down 0.2 per cent for the week and on track for its fifth-straight weekly decline, the longest losing streak since November.

The yen was flat at Y108.89 per dollar, but the Japanese currency has strengthened 1.3 per cent this week, putting it on track for its first advance since the final week of April. Confirmation that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would delay a scheduled sales tax increase until 2019 instead of next year helped underpin gave the yen a strong mid-week boost.

The British pound was 0.1 per cent weaker on Friday at $1.4403. Sterling was down 1.5 per cent for the week, owing to newspaper polls showing voters were leaning toward voting the UK out of the European Union at the June 23 referendum. This would be the currency’s first weekly decline in three weeks, and its biggest since the final week of March.

Brent crude, the international marker, was flat at $50.06 a barrel in Asia on Friday, having closed above the $50 mark overnight for the first time since November 3. Prices swung wildly on Thursday as OPEC ministers at a meeting in Vienna failed to reach a deal on an output ceiling. However, data showing US crude inventories fell again last week provided a boost to sentiment. West Texas Intermediate, the US marker, was flat at $49.18.

Economic data out of Asia today consisted of PMI data for the services sector. The PMI index for China slowed in May, falling 0.6 index points to 51.2. Japan’s services sector swung back above the expansionary threshold of 50 in May, rising to 50.4 from 49.3 in April. Data also showed wage growth failed to strengthen in April, rising 0.3 per cent year-on-year in April. Australia’s services sector expanded in May after two months of contraction.

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Source:: Euro slides after ECB; focus now on nonfarm payrolls

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