Investing.com

Investing.com - The dollar held steady against major currencies early in Asia on Friday with no major data releases in the region and markets in the U.S. closed for the Independence Day holiday.



USD/JPY traded at 102.21, up 0.02%, while EUR/USD held at 1.3610, down 0.01% and AUD/USD at 0.9348, up 0.02%.



Overnight, the dollar traded largely higher against most major currencies after official data revealed a more robust uptick in U.S. hiring in June than markets were expecting.



The U.S. Department of Labor reported that non-farm payrolls rose by 288,000 in June, easily surpassing expectations for an increase of 212,000. May''s figure was revised up to a gain of 224,000 from 217,000.



The unemployment rate ticked down to 6.1% from 6.3% in May. Analysts had expected the jobless rate to hold steady at 6.3% last month.



A day earlier payroll processor ADP reported in its nonfarm payrolls report that the U.S private sector added 281,000 jobs last month, beating expectations for an increase of 200,000.



The numbers firmed the dollar by keeping expectations on track for the Federal Reserve to continue tapering stimulus programs this year and raise interest rates the next.



Fed stimulus programs such as monthly bond purchases aim to spur recovery by suppressing long-term interest rates, weakening the dollar as a side effect.



Also on Thursday, the Institute of Supply Management said its non-manufacturing purchasing managers'' index fell to 56.0 in June from 56.3 in May. Analysts had expected the index to hold steady at 56.3 in June.



Meanwhile in Europe, ECB President Mario Draghi reiterated the bank’s forward guidance that rates will remain on hold at present or lower levels for an extended period.



The ECB president also announced that it will shift to a six-week meeting cycle from January 2015 and that it will start publishing meeting minutes.



The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was flat at 80.26.





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