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Forex – Dollar Index Holds Steady Near 10-Week Highs

© Reuters.  Dollar little changed vs. rivals in holiday-thinned trade© Reuters. Dollar little changed vs. rivals in holiday-thinned trade

Investing.com – The dollar held steady near 10-week highs against other major counterparts in quiet trade on Monday, as hopes for a December rate hike by the Federal Reserve continued to lend support to the greenback.

The dollar remained supported as the wage data from Friday’s U.S. jobs report was seen as potentially boosting inflation.

The U.S. economy lost 33,000 jobs in September, the Labor Department reported, ending seven straight years of job growth. But the decline was driven by slower hiring due to the effects of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.

The unemployment rate fell to 4.2%, the lowest since 2001 and average hourly earnings rose 2.9% from a year earlier.

The uptick in wage inflation bolstered expectations that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates in December.

The yen and Swiss franc held steady, with USD/JPY at 112.68 and with USD/CHF at 0.9795.

Safe-haven demand mildly strengthed following reports North Korea is preparing to test a long-range missile that it is believed could reach the west cost of the U.S.

Elsewhere, EUR/USD was little changed at 1.1732, just off Friday’s seven-week trough of 1.1668 amid ongoing political tensions in Spain.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered in Catalonia’s capital Barcelona over the weekend to protest against the local independence movement.

GBP/USD gained 0.54% to trade at 1.3137, pulling away from Friday’s four-week low of 1.3027 ahead of a fifth round of Brexit talks between the UK and the EU in Brussels this week.

The talks will be taking place amid growing concerns over a possible leadership battle in the UK following threats by a former Conservative Party chairman claiming the support of 30 lawmakers to topple British Prime Minister Theresa May.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars remained weaker, with AUD/USD down 0.17% to 0.7753 and with NZD/USD shedding 0.30% to 0.7068.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD edged up 0.16% to 1.2549, not far from Friday’s one-month peak of 1.2599.

The Turkish lira remained lower, with USD/TRY up 3.27% at 3.7334 after the U.S. and Turkey mutually suspended visa services on Sunday.

The move was made following last week’s arrest of a U.S. embassy employee in Istanbul for alleged involvement in the July 2016 coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Washington has dismissed the allegations as baseless.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was steady at 93.60 by 10:50 a.m. ET (14:50 GMT), still close to Friday’s 10-week highs of 94.10.

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