The U.S. dollar strengthened after statistics from ADP indicated that non-farm private employment increased by 214,000 in February, exceeding anticipations for a 190,000 rise. The U.S. economy added 193,000 jobs a month earlier, a figure that was revised down from a previously reported reading of 205,000.
The report from the payroll processing company ADP followed a set of strong economic reports, fuelling anticipation that the Fed will raise interest rates again this year.
The euro lost ground against the dollar by 0.17% to trade at 1.0849. The single currency encountered pressure, following the release of downbeat eurozone inflation and factory statistics earlier in the week, triggering expectations for further easing measures by the ECB at its upcoming meeting on the 10th of March 2016.
Meanwhile, the greenback was down against the sterling, with GBP/USD gaining 0.44% to trade at 1.4015, while higher against the franc, with the USD/CHF pair inching 0.19% at 0.9994. The dollar was also higher against the Japanese yen, rising 0.38% to 114.45.
Another report on the same day revealed that the Markit construction purchasing managers’ index dropped to 54.2 from January’s 55.0 reading. Analysts anticipated the index to advance to 55.5. This marked the weakest rise in general construction output since April 2015.
Elsewhere, the Aussie strengthened against its U.S. counterpart, trading up 0.75% at 0.7228, in contrast with the New Zealand dollar that dropped 0.27% to 0.6609. The dollar was also stronger against the Canadian dollar, gaining 0.32% to 1.3450.
The Australian dollar gained ground after the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that gross domestic product increased by 0.6% in Q4, surpassing expectations for 0.4%. In the third quarter, the economy grew 1.1%, whose figure was upwardly revised from as previously estimated reading of 0.9%. On a year over year basis, the country’s economy advanced 3.0% in the fourth quarter, above forecasts for a 2.5% growth rate.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback’s performance against a group of six other major counterparts, was higher 0.18% at 98.52, hovering a bit lower than the previous session’s one-month peak of 98.59.