Article Highlights

  • U.S. jobs openings surge to record high in June
  • Sterling hits 10-month low against the euro
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The dollar shook off early weakness to rise to more than a one-week high on Tuesday, after data showing U.S. job openings surging to a record high in June reinforced Friday’s robust payrolls data.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against six major rival currencies, was up 0.28 percent to 93.698, after rising as high as 93.876.

The Labor Department said on Tuesday that job openings, a measure of labor demand, increased 461,000 to a seasonally adjusted 6.2 million, the highest level since the series started in December 2000.

“The JOLTS numbers were certainly the latest metric to highlight tightening labor market conditions in the U.S. and to that extent that’s certainly a dollar-positive data,” said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington.

“The move in the dollar was probably exacerbated by the light summertime trading volumes in an otherwise quite economic calendar for most of this week.”

The data reinforces the strong nonfarm payrolls data from last Friday, said Minh Trang, senior currency trader at Silicon Valley Bank in Santa Clara, California.

The greenback, which has weakened since the start of the year, got a boost on Friday after a strong U.S. July payrolls report bolstered the case for the Federal Reserve to further tighten monetary policy.

Tuesday’s strong job openings data helped the dollar shake of some the weakness it experienced on Monday following dovish comments from St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari.

The euro was down 0.42 percent to $1.1743 on Tuesday, but not far from last week’s 2-1/2-year high of $1.1909.

The European Central Bank is widely expected to scale back its quantitative easing program as doubts rise about whether the Fed will be able to raise rates again this year, which has boosted the euro.

Sterling hit a 10-month low against the euro as investors grew more bearish about Britain’s economic outlook after consumer spending fell for a third month in a row in July.

The Canadian dollar steadied against its U.S. counterpart, holding near a three-week low set the day before, as oil prices fell and data showed slower Chinese and German trade growth.

China’s yuan strengthened to a 10-month high against the dollar, breaching a key psychological level, after the central bank set a firmer guidance rate and data showed a larger-than-expected increase in the country’s foreign exchange reserves.