Dollar rises to seven-month high as non-farm payroll smashes expectations

Emma Haslett
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The figure was way above expectations (Source: Getty)

The US dollar rose to its highest in seven months as US non-farm payroll smashed expectations in October.

The US economy added 271,000 jobs, against the 180,000 expected, pushing the .DXY US dollar index up 1.2 per cent to 99.15, its highest since April.

Meanwhile, the dollar jumped 1.16 per cent against the pound, to 66.51p.

The jobless rate dipped to five per cent, while labour force participation remained at 62.4 per cent, while average hourly earnings rose 0.4 per cent, above the 0.2 per cent expected.

It's a relief for US markets, which were let down when September's figure showed growth of just 142,000 jobs, way below economists' expectations of 201,000.

Today's strong figures fuelled speculation that, after the Federal Reserve failed to raise rates this month, an interest rate hike could come in December.

"The news must mean the odds on a December hike have been slashed and that is how traders responded," said David Morrison, senior market strategist at SpreadCo.

"The US dollar soared with the euro hitting its lowest level [against the dollar] since April this year - coming within a few ticks of 1.0700.

"While this does not guarantee a December rate hike from the Fed – there is one more labour report before the December 16 meeting - at this stage, we feel that we would need to see a catastrophically bad November labour report for the Fed to sit on their hands again in December," agreed Rob Carnell, chief international economist at ING Commercial Banking.

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