None of the major currencies could get anywhere near the Japanese yen, which led the field on five consecutive days. The dollar shared third place with the euro, strengthening by two and a half cents against sterling for a 1.8% rise and losing some ground to the Swiss franc. It got off to a decent start last Friday, after news that US nonfarm payrolls increased my more than expected in March, and investors seemed more interested in the 0.3% acceleration in hourly earnings than the uptick in unemployment to 5.0%.
The minutes of last month's Federal Open Market Committee meeting supported the idea of two interest rate increases this year, as did St Louis Fed president James Bullard when he spoke to the press on the same day. Even so, investors are not totally convinced: market pricing does not reflect that expectation and the belief is that even a single increase is not a foregone conclusion.