Dollar lacklustre before US jobs data

The Australian dollar was almost unchanged late on Friday before the release of key US employment data. The currency was trading at US102.43¢, up slightly from US102.40¢ on Thursday.

The Australian dollar was almost unchanged late on Friday before the release of key US employment data. The currency was trading at US102.43¢, up slightly from US102.40¢ on Thursday.

LTG Goldrock director Andrew Barnett said the dollar was trading in a narrow range before the release of US non-farm payrolls figures. "It's a bit lacklustre at the moment, it needs a bit of a catalyst one way or another," he said.

The US labour department will release non-farm payrolls figures for February early on Saturday (Australian time).

Economists expect the figures to show about 150,000 jobs were added to the US economy last month.

Mr Barnett said the dollar could continue to trade in its current range for the next week or so, before resuming its move lower.

"The Aussie dollar has sort of weakened recently but in the last few days there has been a few little tidbits of information to move it higher," he said.

"I do think in the next four to five weeks we will probably see some further weakness but right now we are just sitting tight."

Bond futures have weakened ahead of the release of the US employment data.

UBS interest rate strategist Matthew Johnson said it was unusual for bond futures to move significantly in the lead-up to the figures.

Mr Johnson said the move lower may be a sign traders were not properly positioned. He said bond futures had been facing downward pressure in the past week.

"Global investors just aren't buying as many of our bonds as they were so to get the buyers back you've got to cheapen them up a little bit."

The March 10-year bond futures contract was trading at 96.48 (implying a yield of 3.52 per cent), down from 96.59 (3.41 per cent) on Thursday.

The three-year contract was at 97.07 (2.93 per cent), down from 97.14 (2.86 per cent).

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