December 2, 2016 / 3:32 PM / 8 months ago

FOREX-Dollar slides as U.S. jobs data casts doubt on future rate hikes

3 Min Read

(Recasts, updates prices, adds comment, U.S. data, changes byline, dateline; previous LONDON)

* U.S. payrolls rise in November, but revised lower in Oct, Sept

* Dollar index on track to lose this week after three-week gain

* Euro one-week implied volatility up before Italy vote

By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss

NEW YORK, Dec 2 (Reuters) - The dollar fell across the board on Friday after posting gains the last three weeks as a solid, but not spectacular, U.S. non-farm payrolls report spurred doubts about the path of rate increases next year.

Analysts, however, said the dollar's weakness was just a short-term correction, a much-needed one, after a strong rally in the wake of Donald Trump's victory in the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 8.

The dollar index was on track for its first weekly fall in four weeks against a basket of currencies, but was still up more than 2 percent for the year. The U.S. currency also slid against the yen, hitting session lows after the jobs report, but was nonetheless on pace to show gains for a fourth consecutive week.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 178,000 jobs last month, but data for September and October were revised to show that fewer jobs created than previously reported.

"Overall, we think the results are good enough to meet the Fed's low thresholds to hike rates later this month," said Marvin Loh, global markets strategist at BNY Mellon in Boston.

"The results also indicate an economy moving along in a new normal manner, which should be able to eke out a near 2 percent growth rate for the full year, generally in line with the Fed's expectations."

But the report did not provide much clarity on the path of future interest rate increases, he said.

"We think that there are enough yellow flags to support the slow and shallow path endorsed by the Fed, which expected only 2 hikes this past September," Loh added.

In mid-morning trade, the dollar index fell 0.3 percent to 100.77. It was down 0.8 percent for the week. Against the yen, the dollar fell 0.6 percent to 113.42 yen.

The euro, on the other hand, was little changed against the dollar at $1.0661, ahead of the Italian referendum over the weekend.

Sunday's Italian referendum could reject constitutional reforms on which Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has staked his political future.

Renzi's departure could destabilise Italy's fragile banking system and be taken as another sign of rising anti-establishment sentiment around the world, potentially eroding investor confidence in the currency union.

Positions on the euro have largely been taken on options markets this week, driving implied volatility of the currency - which could pay off for speculators in either direction - to its highest since Britain's June vote to leave the European Union. (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Additional reporting by Patrick Graham in London; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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