12/03/2018 - Dollar Remains Supported Following Strong US Jobs Growth Data - 12/03/2018
The Dollar had a mixed session on Friday after data revealed US job growth surged in February, recording its biggest increase in more than 1-1/2 years, but a slowdown in wage gains pointed to a gradual increase in inflation this year.
The headline Nonfarm payrolls jumped by 313,000 jobs last month, above expectations of 200,000. The year-on-year increase in average hourly earnings dipped to 2.6 percent from 2.8 percent in January.
Investors were watching the report closely not only for clues about job growth but also whether wage pressures were continuing to build.
Several Federal Reserve officials have said recently they see the jobs market at or even beyond full employment. The unemployment rate was last this low in December 2000. However, sustained wage growth has been absent, keeping the Fed on a pace of consistent but gradual rate hikes.
The Pound struggled on Friday after an unexpected decline in housebuilding meant the UK construction industry contracted for the ninth month in a row in January. The number of new homes built fell 9% compared with last month as the threat of higher interest rates and rising labour costs deterred building firms from starting new projects.
Data from the Office for National Statistics also showed a rise in the cost of imports, mainly higher priced fuel, led to the trade deficit increasing from £11.8bn to £12.3bn.
There was however better news from the manufacturing industry, which extended its period of increased output to nine months in a row in January, the longest run of expansion since records began in 1968.