The U.S. dollar and currency-related exchange traded fund jumped to a seven-month high Friday after an unexpectedly strong October jobs report bolstered the case for a December interest rate hike.
The PowerShares DB U.S. Dollar Index Bullish Fund (NYSEArca: UUP), which tracks the price movement of the U.S. dollar against a basket of currencies, including the euro, Japanese yen, British pound, Canadian dollar, Swedish krona and Swiss franc, rose 1.2% on Friday. Additionally, the actively managed WisdomTree Bloomberg U.S. Dollar Bullish Fund (NYSEArca: USDU) tracks the USD against a broader basket of developed and emerging market currencies, gained 1.2%. [Dollar ETFs Bandwagon Picking Up Steam]
The dollar index of six major trading currencies touched a high of 99.345 in early trading Friday, its highest level since mid-April.
The USD has been rallying on speculation the Federal Reserve would hike interest rates from the near-zero levels. The tighter monetary policy would diminish the supply of U.S. dollars floating around in the economy and help the greenback appreciate against foreign currencies.
The case for the first interest rate hike in almost a decade grew stronger Friday after the Labor Department revealed non-farm payrolls rose 271,000 in October, the average hourly earnings rose 9 cents and unemployment fell to 5.0, its lowest since April 2008, reports Herbert Lash for Reuters.
“It’s a big number,” Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst at Western Union, told the Wall Street Journal. “This is a very positive indicator for a rate increase next month, and very positive for the dollar.”
Fed Chair Janet Yellen has stated that December would be a “live possibility” for an interest rate hike if the U.S. economy continues to strengthen, and the strong jobs number help support the Fed timeline.