The dollar index hit 3-month highs on Thursday, ahead of a U.S. jobs report that could offer clues on when the Federal Reserve will start to pare back stimulus. The U.S. currency rose as high as 111.165 yen for the first time since March 26, 2020, before trading flat compared to Wednesday at 111.095.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six counterparts, rose to 92.496 in early European deals, its highest since April 6.
The index posted its best month since November 2016 in June, driven by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC)’s surprise hawkish shift in the middle of that month, when policymakers signalled two interest rate hikes by the end of 2023.
Traders are looking to Friday’s U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for confirmation of that outlook, with economists polled by Reuters expecting a gain of 700,000 jobs last month, compared with 559,000 in May, and an unemployment rate of 5.7% versus 5.8% in the previous month.
The greenback extended gains on Wednesday after data showed U.S. private payrolls increased by a greater-than-expected 692,000 jobs in June.
“Logically, one should expect a larger dollar reaction in the event of a beat rather than miss,” said Calvin Tse, head of North America FX strategy at CitiFX. “Should the number come in significantly higher than expectations, the markets are likely to interpret that the strong labour market the Fed is expecting to see come the fall is happening earlier than expected.”