The dollar wavered versus the euro on Friday, as traders were uncertain about how to treat a surprisingly strong U.S. jobs report.
The risky euro was bid up amid hopes for a global recovery, but the dollar quickly rallied on expectations that the Federal Reserve can no longer consider a third round of quantitative easing.
In the end, the dollar settled near $1.3150 versus the euro, little changed from where it began the week.
The dollar jumped to Y76.70 versus the safe haven yen, and was steady near $1.58 versus the sterling.
The U.S. economy added far more jobs than were expected in the month of January, according to new government statistics released Friday, with the job growth unexpectedly pushing the unemployment rate down to its lowest level in almost 3 years.
The Labor Department report showed that the non-farm payroll employment jumped by 243,000 jobs in January following a revised increase of 203,000 jobs in December. Economists had expected employment to increase by about 140,000 jobs.
The unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 8.3 percent from 8.5 percent in the previous month.
Activity in the U.S. service sector expanded at a faster than expected rate in the month of January, according to a report released by the Institute for Supply Management on Friday, with the index of activity in the sector rising to an eleven-month high.
The ISM said its non-manufacturing index rose to 56.8 in January from a revised 53.0 in December, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in the service sector.
Focus shifts to Europe this weekend, as Greece makes a final push to negotiate a voluntary restructuring of its sovereign debt. Wage cuts and pension cuts are being demanded of Greece.
German Economy Minister Philipp Roesler said the European Central Bank should not take a wrote-down on Greek government debt, according to the Wall Street Journal on Friday.
“The current discussion is primarily about private-sector involvement. European states and their taxpayers already make a massive contribution to Greece’s restructuring process though their support efforts,” Roesler said.
The Euro zone private sector stabilized in January as initially estimated, final data from Markit Economics showed Friday. The final Markit Composite Output Index came in at 50.4 in January, up from 48.3 in December.
Eurozone retail sales declined unexpectedly in December as consumers were reluctant to spend even during the Christmas season, official data revealed Friday.
Retail sales were down 0.4 percent on a monthly basis in December, marking a second consecutive fall, while economists had expected a 0.3 percent rise. The decline for November was revised to 0.4 percent from 0.8 percent.