The US dollar had a strong finish to last week, making strong gains against the vast majority of its partners. The currency moved to its strongest level in two years against the euro, as well as to its strongest since November last year against sterling, thanks to further positive economic signs. The labour market was the biggest influence, as both the non-farm employment change and the overall unemployment rate both beat expectations. The unemployment rate fell more than expected to reach its lowest level since 2008, while the non-farm figure showed more jobs were added than had been forecast. Both of these added further evidence to the case in favour of interest rate rises.
This week will see investors continue to look for such signs, with the first possible opportunity not until tomorrow. Some minor job openings data will start the week off, before two members of the US Federal Reserve will be speaking. Wednesday could prove important, as the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) release their latest set of minutes from last month. Investors will be sure to scrutinise these closely to pick out any clues as to when interest rate rises might be expected. On Thursday, the focus shifts back to the labour market with the unemployment claims figure the only release of note, before a quiet Friday of just import prices and words from a further member of the FOMC will close out the week.