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    Aussie, kiwi drop against greenback on profit-taking

    The Australian and New Zealand dollars dropped against their U.S. counterpart on Monday, as investors locked in profits after most currencies rallied against the greenback on Friday following a disappointing U.S. employment report.

    AUD/USD slid 0.56% to 0.7326, off Friday’s three-week high of 0.7372.

    The Labor Department reported on Friday that the U.S. economy added just 38,000 jobs last month, the smallest increase since September 2010. Economists had forecast that payrolls would increase by 164,000.

    April’s number was revised down to 123,000 from an earlier estimate of 160,000.

    The unemployment rate fell to 4.7% from 5% in April as more people dropped out of the labor force.

    The weak data cast doubts over the prospects for a rate hike by the Federal Reserve in the coming months and sparked renewed concerns over slowing global growth.

    NZD/USD declined 0.68% to trade at 0.6910, off Friday’s one-month peak of 0.6963.

    Market participants were looking to a speech by Fed Chair Janet Yellen, scheduled later in the day for further indications on the central bank’s next policy moves.

    The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.33% at 94.20, still close to Friday’s three-week lows of June 3.


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