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US dollar wavers ahead of US jobs data, oil slide hits commodity currencies

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The US dollar wavered against the yen and euro on Thursday, its advance put on hold ahead of the closely-watched US non-farm jobs report on Friday which is expected to shape the market's near-term interest rate expectations.

[TOKYO] The US dollar wavered against the yen and euro on Thursday, its advance put on hold ahead of the closely-watched US non-farm jobs report on Friday which is expected to shape the market's near-term interest rate expectations.

Against the safe-haven yen, the US dollar was down 0.2 per cent at 103.21 as the region's equities dipped after a slide in crude oil prices dragged down Wall Street shares on Wednesday.

On the week, the US currency has gained about 1.5 per cent against the yen following comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen last Friday at a central bankers' gathering in Jackson Hole, Wyoming that revived near-term rate hike prospects.

The greenback had briefly advanced to a one-month high of 103.540 yen overnight on a slightly stronger-than-expected US ADP National Employment Report for August, but its rise was tempered after the August Chicago purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell short of expectations.

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The euro was flat at US$1.1159, having rebounded on Wednesday from a three-week low of US$1.1123.

The US dollar index was steady at 96.007 after pulling back overnight from a three-week peak of 96.255.

"The dollar and Treasury yields had risen in tandem following Jackson Hole last week but that phase came to an end yesterday. The US dollar will not be making much further headway before Friday's non-farm employment report," said Shin Kadota, chief Japan FX strategist at Barclays in Tokyo.

The US dollar, on the other hand, fared better against commodity currencies, which were hit by the sharp drop in crude oil prices.

The Canadian dollar was little changed at C$1.3111 versus the US dollar after hitting C$1.3145 overnight, its weakest in three weeks.

The Australian dollar traded flat at US$0.7522, within distance of a one-month trough of US$.07490 probed on Wednesday.

Oil prices fell roughly 3 per cent on Wednesday after data showed a large surprise weekly build in US crude and distillate stockpiles and a smaller-than-expected drawdown in gasoline.

REUTERS

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