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Upbeat Jobs Data Buoys U.S. Dollar

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The U.S. dollar strengthened against its major counterparts in the European session on Friday, as the economy added more than jobs than forecast in December, reducing fears over the health of the economy.

Data from the Labor Department showed that U.S. job growth exceeded forecasts in December, led by job gains in the healthcare, food services and drinking places, construction, manufacturing, and retail sectors.

The non-farm payroll employment soared by 312,000 jobs in December after climbing by an upwardly revised 176,000 jobs in November.

Economists had expected employment to increase by about 177,000 jobs compared to the addition of 155,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

The report said the unemployment rate rose to 3.9 percent in December from 3.7 percent in November, while economists had expected the unemployment rate to come in unchanged.

Further underpinning sentiment was news of fresh trade talks between China and U.S.

China's Commerce Ministry said that U.S. deputy trade representative Jeffrey Gerrish would hold talks with Chinese officials on Monday and Tuesday in Beijing. The meeting will be the first since both sides had agreed to a 90-day truce at the G-20 summit in Argentina last month.

Investors await comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who is due to participate in a joint discussion with former Fed Chairs Janet Yellen and Ben Bernanke at the American Economic Association and Allied Science Association Meeting in Atlanta.

The currency traded mixed against its major counterparts in the Asian session. While it rose against the franc and the yen, it held steady against the euro. Against the pound, it declined.

The greenback appreciated to 1.1364 against the euro, after falling to a 2-day low of 1.1419 at 4:15 am ET. The pair was valued at 1.1393 when it closed deals on Thursday. Next key resistance for the greenback is seen around the 1.12 region.

Data from Eurostat showed that Eurozone's consumer price inflation slowed more-than-expected in December to its lowest level in eight months.

The consumer price index rose 1.6 percent year-on-year following a 1.9 percent increase in November. Economists had forecast 1.8 percent inflation.

The greenback was higher at 108.38 against the yen, which marked a 3.5 percent rise from a 9-1/2-month low of 104.66 fetched on Thursday. At yesterday's close, the pair was worth 107.66. The greenback is poised to challenge resistance around the 110.00 level.

Following a decline to 0.9853 against the franc at 4:15 am ET, the greenback reversed its path and moved up to 0.9901. The greenback had finished Thursday's trading at 0.9867 versus the franc. Continuation of the greenback's uptrend may take it to a resistance around the 1.00 level.

Having dropped to a 2-day low of 1.2695 against the pound at 5:15 am ET, the greenback bounced off to 1.2633 following the data. Further uptrend may take the greenback to a resistance around the 1.25 level.

Data from the Nationwide Building Society showed that UK House Price inflation slowed sharply in December to its weakest level since early 2013, as buyer confidence eroded amid the persistent uncertainties linked to Brexit.

The House Price Index rose 0.5 percent year-on-year following a 1.9 percent increase in November. Economists had forecast a 1.5 percent increase.

The greenback firmed to 0.6672 against the kiwi, recovering from a 2-day low of 0.6707 touched at 10:45 pm ET. The greenback was trading at 0.6692 per kiwi at Thursday's close. The greenback is likely to challenge resistance around the 0.64 level, if it rises further.

The greenback bounced off to 0.7026 against the aussie, from a 4-day low of 0.7054 hit at 4:15 am ET. The aussie-pair had ended Thursday's trading at 0.7005. The next likely upside target for the greenback is seen around the 0.675 level.

Although the greenback rose marginally against the loonie following the data, the move was short-lived with the buck trending back near more than a 2-week low of 1.3425 seen at 8:20 am ET. The pair was quoted at 1.3487 at Thursday's close.

In today's events, at 10:15 am ET, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell participates in a panel discussion titled "Federal Reserve chairs: Joint Interview" at the American Economic Association's Annual Meeting in Atlanta.

At the same time, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic will participate in a panel discussion titled "The Future of Traditional Banking" at the American Economic Association's Annual Meeting in Atlanta.

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