Forex – Aussie gains on surprise jobs jump, Trump Russia probe widens

The Aussie gained further in Asia on Thursday after a surprise jump in jobs added in April and regional data showed Japan reported better than expected GDP for the first quarter as investors also stayed cautious after U.S. Justice Department Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI director Robert Mueller as special counsel to take over the investigation of Russia’s alleged interference in the U.S. presidential election.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose 0.06% to 97.40. USD/JPY changed hands at 111.12, up 0.26%, while AUD/USD traded at 0.7452, up 0.30%.

Australia reported jobs data with a surge of 37,400 jobs, compared to an expected 5,000 jobs added in April, sending the unemployment rate down to 5.7% from a steady of 5.9% seen, under a participation rate of 64.8%, a tad higher than 64.7% forecast. Later, China reported house prices data for April that showed a 10.7% gain, down from an increase of 11.3% in March.

Earlier, Japan reported gross domestic product data for the first quarter rose a batter than expected 0.5%, compared with a provisional 0.4% gain seen quarter-on-quarter and at a 2.2% annual pace, beating the 1.7% increase seen year-on-year.

Nomura in a note to clients on Thursday said the Trump investigation has heightened market risk.

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