Australian dollar jumped by 1.42% after data showed that new 71.4K jobs were added in November, compared with forecasts of a contraction of 10.0K, and following similarly strong gains in October by 56.1K, making the total two-month addition the strongest in 28 years. Australia's unemployment rate fell subsequently to a 19-month low at 5.8%. The Aussie gave up some gains later but was still up 0.77% at $0.7286.
Across the sea from Australia, New Zealand's central bank slashed interest rates by 0.25% to 2.50% as expected, but said that further stimulus is not needed, helping the Kiwi scale up 1.17% overnight, and extending its gains further by 0.20% to $0.6734.
Dollar gave up ground, hurt by closing of long positions by investors, with its index touching a 5-week low at 97.33, before recovering some losses and trading at 97.49. Dollar tumbled to a similar low against the euro at 1.1015, before edging back to 1.1008. It lost heavily against the yen, before inching up 0.21% to 121.70.
Asian shares dipped on world growth worries, showcased by the rout in oil prices. Japan's Nikkei dove to a 5-week low at 19,077, losing 1.10%. Australia's S&P\ASX 200 fell 0.84%. Korea's KOSPI inched down 0.02%. China's CSI300 index for the biggest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen bucked the trend, advancing 0.58%.
Wall Street ended on a weak foot, with Dow Jones shedding 75 points, or 0.43% to 17,492. NASDAQ lost 75 points, or 1.48% to 5,022. S&P 500 gave up 15.9 points, or 0.77% to 2,047.62.
Oil prices ended a volatile session yesterday with losses, but edged up today, with Brent futures gaining 17 cents, or 0.41% to $40.46 a barrel. U.S. crude futures rose 26 cents, or 0.69% to $37.42 a barrel.
Being released today, U.S. unemployment claims, forecast at 269K for last week, same as the previous week's. The fewer claims there are the more indicative it is of fewer layoffs and a strengthening jobs market, which is positive for the dollar.
From Britain, the goods trade balance deficit for October is forecast at -9.70 billion pounds, slightly higher than September's -9.35B. The lower the deficit is the better it is for the currency's standing in the exchange rates.