CURRENCIES: Dollar Edges Up Ahead Of Jobs Report

By Ryan Vlastelica Features Dow Jones Newswires

Pound trends lower on election uncertainty

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The U.S. dollar was slightly higher against its major rivals on Friday, though trading was quiet as investors looked ahead to the highly anticipated May jobs report.

The U.S. dollar index, which looks at the buck against a half-dozen other currencies, was up less than 0.1% to 97.27. For the week, the index is looking at a decline of 0.1%, bringing its year-to-date decline to 4.8%.

The nonfarm payroll report for May will be released at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch are forecasting 185,000 jobs were created last month. Recent reads on the labor market, including the ADP report on Thursday, have pointed to strong conditions.

The report is in view because of what it might suggest about Federal Reserve policy over the remainder of the year. If far more jobs are added in the month than expected, the U.S. central bank may be more likely to be aggressive in raising interest rates. A strong report could even mean the Fed raises rates later this month, which would be supportive for the dollar.

Against the yen , the dollar changed hands at Yen111.48 from Yen111.35 late Thursday. The euro was at $1.1215 from $1.1216. Both currencies have been relatively quiet this holiday-shortened week, and are essentially unchanged. However, both have been in pronounced uptrends over the course of 2017; the euro is up 6.6% thus far this year, while the yen is up 4.7%.

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The pound trended lower on a day when U.K. stocks were headed toward record levels (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ftse-100-on-track-for-all-time-high-as-us-records-lift-trading-mood-2017-06-02). The currency traded at $1.2857 from $1.2882, but is up 0.4% on the week.

Sterling has been volatile in recent days as opinion polls ahead of the June 8 general election in the U.K. point to a much tighter race than anyone had expected. A survey out earlier this week showed Theresa May's Conservative Party's lead over Labor had narrowed to three points, down from 20 points about a month ago.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 02, 2017 08:29 ET (12:29 GMT)