1. The dollar held steady versus a basket of currencies on Friday, as investors shifted their focus to U.S. jobs data, with President Donald Trump’s nomination of Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell to be the next Fed Chair coming as no surprise. That broke with precedent by denying incumbent Janet Yellen a second term but signaled a continuation of her cautious monetary policies.
2. The U.S. non-farm payroll report is due today at 1230GMT and is expected to show job numbers bounced back in October after September’s drop. According to economists surveyed by Bloomberg, the consensus estimates U.S. companies added 149,000 jobs during the month. Goldman Sachs’ David Mericle expects the number to disappoint and come in at 125,000.
3. Yesterday, the price of Bitcoin broke $7,000, having reached the threshold for the first time. The upswing continued a rally that started Wednesday, when the Chicago Mercantile Exchange announced plans to offer Bitcoin futures — a move that could add even more institutional investors to Bitcoin markets and theoretically push up prices. In mid-morning trading in New York, bitcoin was up 5.4% to $7,105, according to Reuters data. It traded at about $1,000 10 months ago.
4. Sterling nursed its losses after suffering its biggest one-day fall against the dollar since June on Thursday, after the Bank of England raised interest rates for the first time in more than a decade but said it sees only gradual rises ahead. Sterling inched up 0.1% to $1.3070, after having tumbled 1.4% on Thursday.
5. The Australian dollar slipped half a percent to $0.7651, coming under pressure after data showed that retail sales were flat in September. That was below market expectations for a rise of 0.4% on the month. Morgan Stanley strategists said the prospect of more U.S. rate increases next year would put pressure on currencies such as the Australian dollar and sterling, since households in those countries have racked up large debts in recent years.