The Japanese yen and Swiss franc strengthened against their major rivals in early New York trading on Friday as traders seek safe-haven currencies after the disappointing jobs report showed that the U.S. economic recovery may be losing steam.
According to the report released by the Labor Department, the U.S. economy added an anemic 18,000 jobs in June, well below the 105,000 predicted by most economists and well below the average of 215,000 posted from February through April.
In addition, the unemployment rate ticked up to 9.2 percent in June from 9.1 percent in May, which was also up slightly from April.
The Swiss franc traded higher to 0.8382 against the Swiss franc, 1.1980 versus the euro, 1.3443 against the pound and 96.17 against the yen around 9:00 am ET.
On the upside, the alpine currency may find target levels at 0.8340 against the greenback, 1.34 versus the pound, 96.30 against the yen and 1.18 against the euro.
The yen advanced to new multi-day highs of 80.51 against the US dollar, 83.37 against the Canadian dollar, 114.88 against the euro, 128.93 against the pound and 86.32 against the Australian dollar around 9:00 am ET. The yen also reached as high as 67.0 against the New Zealand dollar before holding steady around 9:05 am ET.
If the yen strengthens further, it may find target levels at 80.20 against the greenback, 83.0 versus the loonie, 86.20 against the aussie, 113.80 versus the euro, 128.30 against the pound and 66.80 against the NZ dollar.