The dollar was slightly firmer against the major currencies Tuesday, while European stocks wavered between small losses and gains, as investors awaited the release of the delayed U.S. employment report for September--one of the casualties of the prolonged government shutdown.
Early Tuesday, the dollar, which had been under pressure at the end of the past week as investors pushed back their expectations of when the Federal Reserve might start winding down its $85 billion-a-month asset purchases, was holding its own. The euro was fetching $1.3676, compared with $1.3680 late Monday in New York, and the dollar was at Y98.31, up from Y98.17. The pound, meanwhile, was at $1.6127, compared with $1.6147.
Currency strategists at Societe Generale said that a strong non-farm payrolls number with upward revisions to previous months would support the dollar in the near term. But they added, "We would not expect a new strong dollar trend yet. We would likely need a strong suite of U.S. October data--unveiled over November--before a dollar uptrend can be established."
Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect to see a 180,000 rise in payrolls and an unchanged unemployment rate of 7.3%.
Equity markets were fairly quiet again, with investors seemingly reluctant to make any big bets either way. The benchmark Stoxx 600 index was flat. London's FTSE 100 was up 0.1%, while Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 both slipped 0.1%.
"Today's data is quite significant because it gives a sense of how the U.S. economy was before the shutdown," said Keith Wade, chief economist at Schroders, which has $388 billion in assets under management. "We'd have to see quite a strong number for it to have much impact on monetary policy going forward."
On the corporate front, U.K. consumer-goods company Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC (RB.LN) surged after reporting 5% growth in like-for-like revenue for the third quarter and saying it expects full-year revenue growth to be at least 6%.
Shares in Dutch telecom company Royal KPN NV (KKPNY) rose. Although it swung to a third-quarter net loss, analysts said that excluding the E-Plus impairment, the numbers were slightly better than expected.
Novartis AG (NVS) edged higher after raising its full-year outlook for the second consecutive quarter.
On the downside, shares in Deutsche Lufthansa AG (DLAKY) slid. Although the company said it expects operating profit this year to rise to between 600 million euros ($820.5 million) and EUR700 million, it posted a sharp drop in earnings for the first three quarters of the years.
In London, shares in microchip designer ARM Holdings PLC (ARMH) fell after the release of its third-quarter results. Analysts at J.P. Morgan Cazenove said that its earnings per share for the period were in line with expectations, as was its fourth-quarter sales guidance. However, it pointed to continued weakness in smartphones, saying that taking some profits is warranted.
Write to Michele Maatouk at firstname.lastname@example.org
Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 22, 2013 05:15 ET (09:15 GMT)Copyright (c) 2013 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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