EUR/USD (a 4-hour chart)
The dollar strengthened versus the yen amid rising stock markets - Nikkei futures rose at 1.7%. The dollar strengthening versus the yen was supported by the positive data on the U.S. labor market released on Friday before the Non-Farm Payrolls publication. 175-189 thousand new jobs was expected in January and the unchanged unemployment rate at 6.7%. The strong employment data for January along with the fall in unemployment point to the economy improvement that can support the dollar.
The initial claims number fell by 20 000 to 331 thousand with an upwardly revised 351 thousand which was better than the expected 335 thousand Number Claimant declined for the first time in three weeks. The average number of applications slightly increased to 334 thousand over the past four weeks from 333,75 thousand a week earlier.
The euro rose sharply showing the maximum growth over the past two weeks - after the ECB left interest rates unchanged and announced new measures to mitigate the monetary policy just what traders expected. ECB President Mario Draghi said that the decision not to change the policy was made due to the complexity of the situation and the need for additional information.
The pound changed little after the Bank of England left unchanged its monetary policy to stimulate economic growth. The key interest rate remained at a record low 0.5% where it has been since March 2009. The central bank also kept the Asset Purchase Facility size at 375 billion British pounds.