FOREX-Euro rises from 5-week lows, outlook still weak
* Euro recovers from five-week low vs dollar after Draghi comments * ECB leaves rates unchanged * Focus shifts to U.S. non-farm payrolls data * Canadian dollar continues slide By Curtis Skinner NEW YORK, Jan 9 (Reuters) - The euro recovered from five-week lows against the dollar on Thursday following cautious comments on the euro zone economy by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, but the outlook for Europe's single currency remains weak. After the central bank left its main interest rate unchanged at a record low of 0.25 percent, Draghi said the central bank is monitoring money market conditions and hinted that there may be downside risks to its current view on inflation. The euro fell as low as $1.3547, its lowest since Dec. 5, after Draghi's comments. It last traded at $1.3605, up 0.23 percent on the day. The ECB's view stands in contrast with the Federal Reserve, which is winding down its asset-buying program. Relative interest rates should continue to favor the dollar over the euro. "The fact that the ECB enhanced its forward guidance means they're strengthening their dovish bias at a time when the Federal Reserve is hardening its commitment to tapering asset purchases," said Kathy Lien, managing director at BK Asset Management in New York. On the U.S. economic front, Thursday's better-than-expected initial weekly jobless claims data and an upbeat report on private sector jobs growth released on Wednesday reinforced the positive outlook for for the U.S. economy and the labor market, supporting the Fed's decision to pare its bond purchases. Against the yen, the single currency also traded up 0.11 percent at 142.50 yen. "The early losses were really just on the back of the strengthening of the forward guidance," said Camilla Sutton, chief FX strategist at ScotiaBank in Toronto. "I think the market's takeaway was that the ECB appears fairly comfortable with where they sit right now. I think for many, that's somewhat of a euro-positive and helped to erase some of those losses early on." With the ECB out of the way, market participants are now focused on Friday's U.S. non-farm payrolls report. Analysts expect payroll growth of 196,000 jobs in December. The report may provide more clues as to how quickly the Fed will cut back on its bond-buying program this year. "Expect a positive number in the area of 220,000 to prove positive for the stock market and negative for the U.S. dollar," said Michael Woolfolk, global market strategist managing director at BNY Mellon in New York. "We're looking for risk appetite to be prevalent." Earlier in the session, the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits last week fell slightly more than expected to a seasonally adjusted 330,000, pointing to an economy that was continuing to gain steam. Against the yen, the dollar last traded 0.08 percent lower at 104.75 yen. The Canadian dollar continued its fall on Thursday, hitting a more than four-year low against the U.S. dollar. The greenback hit a high of C$1.0874 in the day's trading, and was last up 0.3 percent to C$1.0853. "A weak trade report from Canada juxtaposed against a strong trade balance from the US reminded markets of the uncertainty that overhangs the Canadian export market," ScotiaBank's Sutton said. The euro and the pound have both reached multi-year highs against the loonie since the start of the new year. The euro was last up 0.52 percent to C$1.4764 and sterling was last ahead 0.66 perecnt to C$1.7887, according to Reuters data.
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