FOREX – Euro extends recent slide, US dollar gains ahead of jobs data

    * Euro hits lowest since 2016 against sterling
    * Russia rouble hits fresh low in Moscow trade

 (Updates with late U.S. market activity)
    By Caroline Valetkevitch
    NEW YORK, March 3 (Reuters) - The euro extended recent declines and hit its lowest since 2016 against
sterling on Thursday as investors worried about the impact of rising oil prices after Russia's invasion of
Ukraine, while the U.S. dollar index rose as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated that he
supports a 25-basis-point hike this month.
    Powell repeated the comments during his second day of testimony before Congress. The dollar also was
supported by weekly U.S. jobless claim data, which suggested the labor market was gaining steam, a day ahead
of Friday's key February U.S. jobs report. [nL2N2V61Q2] 
    Data showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits dropped to their lowest
level this year last week. Economists are anticipating another month of solid job growth in Friday's jobs
report. [nL2N2V60WH]
    The U.S. dollar index was last up 0.4% <=USD> and hit its highest since June 2020, while the dollar was
down slightly against the yen .
    "The dollar is in a significant groove right now, benefiting from safe-haven flows and the solid shape
of the U.S. economy," said Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst at Western Union Business Solutions in
    "Certainly the data this week has been really bullish ... so if we see strong job growth coupled with
oil exacerbating inflation, we think that would keep big Fed rate hikes in the conversation," he said.
    In other U.S. data, new orders for U.S.-made goods increased more than expected in January, pointing to
continued strength in manufacturing.
    Oil eased after hitting prices not seen in roughly a decade. Sellers jumped on hopes the United States
and Iran will agree soon on a nuclear deal that could add barrels to a tight global market. [O/R]
    Russia and Ukraine have agreed on the need to set up humanitarian corridors and a possible ceasefire
around them for fleeing civilians, both sides said after talks on Thursday, while Russian invasion forces
surrounded and bombarded Ukrainian cities as the conflict entered its second week. [nL2N2V61XY]
    "The Ukraine crisis has really lit a fire under oil, and we're showing how that's really becoming a
source of significant weakness for the euro and a major source of strength for commodity currencies,"
Manimbo said.
    The euro was down 0.5% at $1.1060  and again reached its lowest since May 2020. It is headed
for its fourth straight weekly fall against the U.S. dollar. Against sterling, the euro hit its lowest since
July 2016. 
    Commodity-linked currencies mostly rose. The Australian dollar was up 0.3% against the U.S. dollar.
    The Russian rouble was flat by the end the day on the Moscow exchange at 106.01 after hitting an
all-time low of 118.35 in thin, volatile trade . The Russian central bank imposed a 30%
commission on foreign currency purchases by individuals on currency exchanges - a move brokers said appeared
designed to curb demand for dollars. [nL1N2V60J9]
    The U.S. dollar was last up about 12% against the rouble . 
    Currency bid prices at 3:35PM (2035 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct       High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                   
 Dollar index     <=USD>      97.7670        97.4160     +0.37%         2.199%        +97.9610    +97.3890
 Euro/Dollar         $1.1060        $1.1119     -0.54%         +0.00%        +$1.1121    +$1.1033
 Dollar/Yen          115.4300       115.5200    -0.06%         +0.00%        +115.8000   +115.3900
 Euro/Yen            127.66         128.43      -0.60%         +0.00%        +128.5000   +127.5900
 Dollar/Swiss        0.9188         0.9205      -0.19%         +0.00%        +0.9216     +0.9180
 Sterling/Dollar      $1.3335        $1.3405     -0.51%         +0.00%        +$1.3417    +$1.3318
 Dollar/Canadian      1.2683         1.2631      +0.42%         +0.00%        +1.2693     +1.2587
 Aussie/Dollar        $0.7319        $0.7298     +0.29%         +0.00%        +$0.7348    +$0.7277
 Euro/Swiss          1.0161         1.0231      -0.68%         +0.00%        +1.0237     +1.0161
 Euro/Sterling       0.8291         0.8295      -0.05%         +0.00%        +0.8300     +0.8276
 NZ                   $0.6796        $0.6787     +0.18%         +0.00%        +$0.6809    +$0.6762
 Dollar/Norway        8.9190         8.8475      +0.83%         +0.00%        +8.9400     +8.8705
 Euro/Norway         9.8667         9.8402      +0.27%         +0.00%        +9.8747     +9.8153
 Dollar/Sweden          9.7626         9.6765      +0.41%         +0.00%        +9.7923     +9.6608
 Euro/Sweden         10.7977        10.7538     +0.41%         +0.00%        +10.8116    +10.7470
World FX rates
The euro and gas prices
 (Additional reporting by Dhara Ranasinghe in London and Tom Westbrook in Singapore; Editing by Hugh Lawson,
Edmund Blair and Jonathan Oatis)


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