The dollar was higher against the euro and the yen on Wednesday as investors eyed the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s December meeting, following data showing that the U.S. private sector added the largest number of jobs since November 2012 last month.
The dollar was boosted after a report showed that ADP nonfarm payrolls rose by 238,000 in December, easily surpassing expectations for an increase of 200,000.
The strong data bolstered the outlook for the recovery in the labor market going into 2014 ahead of Friday’s keenly anticipated jobs report for December.
Investors were looking ahead to the minutes of the Fed’s latest policy meeting, due for release later Wednesday, for indications on the possible timing of further reductions in the bank’s stimulus program.
The euro initially fell to four week lows of 1.3568 following the jobs data, and EUR/USD was last down 0.10% to 1.3601.
In the euro zone, data on Wednesday showed that the unemployment rate in the region remained unchanged at 12.1% in November, while euro zone retail sales rebounded strongly in November.
Retail sales rose 1.4% in November, the biggest rise since November 2001 Eurostat said, recovering from a 0.4% fall in October.
USD/JPY rose to session highs of 105.12 and was last up 0.22% to 104.82, not far from last Thursday’s five year high of 105.43.
Elsewhere, GBP/USD was up 0.38% to 1.6462 and USD/CHF dipped 0.01% to 0.9092.
The greenback was steady against the Australian and New Zealand dollars, with AUD/USD slipping 0.12% to 0.8914 and NZD/USD inching up 0.02% to trade at 0.8283.
Elsewhere, the U.S. dollar was trading close to three-and-a-half year highs against the weaker Canadian dollar, with USD/CAD climbing 0.42% to 1.0813.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.16% to 81.14.
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