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    Dollar little changed vs. rivals before nonfarm payrolls

    The dollar was little changed against the other major currencies on Friday, as investors remained cautious ahead of a highly anticipated U.S. employment report due later in the day.

    USD/JPY edged up 0.09% to 108.97, off a three-week low of 108.50 hit overnight.

    Market participants were eyeing the release of the U.S. nonfarm payrolls report later Friday for further indications on the strength of the job market. A better-than-expected report would boost expectations for a rate hike this summer by the Federal Reserve.

    On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits fell by 1,000 to 267,000 last week. Analysts expected jobless claims to rise by 2,000 to 270,000 from the previous week’s 268,000.

    The report came after payroll processing firm ADP said non-farm private employment rose by 173,000 in May, just below expectations for an increase of 175,000 but improving from 166,000 in April.

    Meanwhile, the yen remained supported after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday he was planning to delay a scheduled sales tax hike amid ongoing weakness in the economy. He also announced plans to implement a fiscal stimulus package later this year.

    EUR/USD eased 0.11% to 1.1140.

    The euro was little changed after the European Central Bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged on Thursday and warned that inflation in the euro area is likely to remain very low, or negative, for some time.

    The dollar was higher against the pound the Swiss franc, with GBP/USD down 0.10% at 1.4408 and with USD/CHF adding 0.14% to 0.9918.

    Earlier Friday, research group Markit said its U.K. services purchasing managers’ index rose to 53.5 last month from a reading of 52.3 in April. Analysts had expected the index to rise to 52.5 in April.

    The Australian and New Zealand dollars were stronger, with AUD/USD up 0.18% at 0.7241 and with NZD/USD gaining 0.34% to 0.6834.

    Elsewhere, USD/CAD was little changed at 1.3101.

    The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was steady at 95.64.


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