The number of new job openings in the US edged up to 156,000 in September, figures published today showed.
That's up from 151,000 in August, but lower than the 175,000 expected, suggesting the economy is holding up, despite jitters over the outcome of November's Presidential election.
Meanwhile, the jobless rate rose to five per cent, up from 4.9 per cent last month.
That pushed down the price of Fed funds futures, contracts whose prices are settled at where buyers expect the US Fed's interest rate to be the month they expire, suggesting there's a less than 50 per cent chance of an interest rate hike in December.
Analysts remained optimistic. Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at ThinkMarkets, suggested the rise, however small, showed a rate hike was imminent.
The US economic data has been very much supporting the argument that the US economy is in a position where they can increase the interest rate. Today’s US NFP number has made that foundation even stronger and this has impacted both the dollar and gold. So in summary you can say that the number was not flashy but it has not faded the odds for December rate hike.
The news caused the pound to briefly regain some of its losses against the dollar - it rose to $1.2383, having fallen to $1.2251 at one point this morning.
Sterling plummeted by more than six per cent in two minutes overnight in a flash crash, which many put down to a glitchy algorithm. Although the pound has since recovered some of its losses, it was still 2.24 per cent down against the dollar in the minutes after non-farm payroll figures were released.
Meanwhile, it was down 2.12 per cent against the euro, at €1.1073.