Friday, December 3

Dollar soft as traders expect stimulus and await US jobs data

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The risk-sensitive Australian dollar was last steady at $0.7182 after climbing as high as $0.7209 overnight. It has so far posted a weekly gain of 2.2%, its best since late August.

The Japanese yen on the other hand, a safe-haven currency that tends to gain during periods of uncertainty, barely moved this week, suggesting a degree of caution remains. The yen last traded at 105.55 per dollar.

Sterling had a bumpy overnight session, bouncing around on conflicting Brexit headlines before ultimately sinking as the European Union began legal proceedings over a British plan to undercut their divorce deal.

The pound recovered from a low of $1.2819 to steady at $1.2884 in Asian trade. The euro held at $1.1744.

The Chinese yuan hovered just shy of a 16-month high it made in offshore trade on Thursday. Volumes were thinned by holidays in China that have markets closed until Oct. 9.

Investors are watching with concern as coronavirus infection rates climb in Europe and the US and awaiting crucial US labor figures for a read on the economic recovery.

Madrid will become the first European capital to go back into lockdown in coming days to fight a steep surge in cases. A record increase in new cases in Wisconsin on Thursday, fanned fears of hospitals there being overwhelmed.

US non-farm payrolls likely increased by 850,000 jobs in September, according to a Reuters survey of economists. That would leave employment 10.7 million below its level in February. Data is due at 1230 GMT. (Reporting by Tom Westbrook; Editing by Stephen Coates )