US dollar weakens against major currencies

New York: The US dollar weakened as the US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s dovish remarks on rate hikes coupled with strong jobs data alleviated traders’ demand for safe havens.

In late New York trading on Friday, the euro was up to $1.1398 from $1.1391 in the previous session, and the British pound rose to $1.2740 from $1.2629 in the previous session, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Australian dollar rose to $0.7116 from $0.7002.

The US dollar bought 108.52 Japanese yen, higher than 107.75 Japanese yen of the previous session. The US dollar fell to 0.9864 Swiss franc from 0.9885 Swiss franc, and it was down to 1.3394 Canadian dollars from 1.3480 Canadian dollars.

Powell said the central bank would remain patient in hiking benchmark overnight lending rates. He stressed Fed’s future move will depend on “how the economy evolves”.

Meanwhile, the upbeat jobs data also helped ease fears that the US economy is at risk of slipping into a recession over the next two years.

US total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 312,000 in December, exceeding market expectations, the the Department of Labor said on Friday.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, decreased 0.13 per cent at 96.1871 in late trading.