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Wednesday June 5, 2013 - 00:06:13 GMT
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FOREX NEWS - Dollar edges higher before jobs test, AUD on the defensive


7:42pm EDT

* U.S. dollar slowly recovering from Monday's selloff

* U.S. ADP report in focus ahead of Friday's payrolls

* Aussie dollar under pressure, eyes on Q1 GDP

By Ian Chua

SYDNEY, June 5 (Reuters) - Commodity currencies nursed heavy losses in Asia on Wednesday as the dollar continued a gradual recovery from an early-week selloff, although investors were wary of any disappointment in a trio of U.S. job reports.

The dollar index was flat at 82.800, having drifted up from a one-month low of 82.428 plumbed on Monday in the wake of disappointing manufacturing data that argued against an early start for the Federal Reserve to unwind its stimulus programme.

That has put Friday's non-farm payrolls (NFP) front and centre for dollar bulls. A report by payrolls processor, ADP, due later on Wednesday, will be closely watched for clues on the NFP report. Even the weekly jobless claims series has gained far more attention as investors try and second guess the Fed.

"Our U.S. economists expect an above-consensus 200,000 print in the ADP May employment release, which should signal private sector job expansion stronger than the overall pace of hiring in the economy that is restrained by government spending sequestration," analysts at BNP Paribas wrote in a client note.

"Firmer U.S. data should bring some relief to USD longs, although we do not expect an aggressive rush into new positions until Friday's key payrolls report."

The dollar edged up 0.2 percent to 100.20 yen, and away from a one-month trough of 98.86 plumbed on Monday. The euro was at $1.3079, easing back from a one-month high of $1.3108. Resistance is seen around $1.3141, the 76.4 percent retracement level of the euro's May 1-17 fall.

The under performers overnight were commodity currencies, led by the Australian dollar after the Reserve Bank of Australia kept an easing bias following a widely expected decision to keep its cash rate at a record low 2.75 percent.

The Aussie dollar reversed almost all of Monday's gains, falling to $0.9647 from a high near $0.9800. This has put it within spitting distance of a 19-month trough of $0.9528 plumbed late last month.

The near-term focus for the Aussie is Australia's gross domestic product data for the first quarter due at 0030 GMT. Analysts polled by Reuters expect the economy to have grown a solid 0.8 percent in the quarter.

Traders said a faster growth rate should heighten the appeal of the Aussie dollar as it would dampen expectations for further policy easing.

"However, a dismal print may spark fresh lows in the AUD/USD as it fuels speculation for another rate cut," said David Song, currency analyst at DailyFX.

"The central bank remains poised to further embark on its easing cycle in the second-half of the year in order to stem the downside risks for growth and inflation."

Markets will also be keeping an eye on HSBC's report on China's services sector due 0045 GMT. Any downside surprise will no doubt fuel worries about a slowdown in the world's second biggest economy.

Thomson Reuters 2011. All rights reserved.



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