By Gina Lee
Investing.com – The dollar was down but not out on Friday morning in Asia, with investors retreating from the greenback after positive data from both China and the U.S. gave market sentiment an end-of-week boost.
Non-farm payrolls rose to 4.8 million in June, higher than the 3 million in analyst forecasts prepared by Investing.com as well as May’s figure of 2.699 million.
But rising COVID-19 figures globally, and particularly in the U.S., stemmed the safe-haven asset’s losses. The number of global cases topped 10.8 million as of July 3, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
“New infections in the United States have been on an uptrend since June,” Junichi Ishikawa, senior foreign exchange strategist at IG Securities, told Reuters.
“The market is leaning more toward buying the dollar, particularly against emerging market currencies, because the dollar is considered the safest asset around.”
The U.S. Dollar Index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies slipped 0.05% to 97.248 by 12:37 PM ET (5:37 AM GMT).
The USD/JPY pair was up 0.04% to 107.53.
The AUD/USD pair gained 0.09% to 0.6928 and the NZD/USD rose 0.10% to 0.6517. The AUD got a boost after the country announced that retail sales soared by a record 16.9% month-on-month in May.
The USD/CNY pair was down 0.01% to 7.0657. The CNY was boosted by June’s Caixin Services Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) of 58.4, higher than the previous month’s figure of 55, as well as the highest reading in two months.
But the yuan’s gains were muted by rising tensions between China and the U.S. over the national security laws in Hong Kong. The U.S. Senate on Thursday approved sanctions against Chinese entities involved with implementing the law, and the legislation is now on U.S. President Donald Trump’s desk for his approval or veto.
The GBP/USD pair slid 0.05% to 1.2460.