Dollar climbs on jobs data

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WASHINGTON — The dollar headed higher against the euro Friday, helped by surprise numbers in the November US jobs report, though the details still painted a less buoyant picture than the headline numbers.

At 2200 GMT the euro was trading at $1.2928, compared to $1.2969 Thursday.

The US Labor Department reported the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent in November, instead of a rise to 8.0 percent as most economists had expected.

The economy spun out a net 146,000 new jobs, also beating estimates.

But the picture wasn’t all good: the job creation numbers for the previous two months were lowered, and the data also showed that more people dropped out of the jobs market altogether than got new jobs.

“At the current pace, we would not see the economy returning to full employment for another decade,” said Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

The eurozone currency also continued to show the impact of Thursday’s ECB shock economic forecast, which slashed growth expectations with a prediction of more contraction in 2013.

ECB officials hinted at a possible future rate cut given the continued contraction in the region’s economy.

The Japanese yen was mixed, gaining to 106.64 yen to the euro but falling to 82.46 to the greenback.

The dollar rose to 0.9343 Swiss francs from 0.9325 francs; the British pound slipped to $1.6039 from $1.6050.

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