U.S. dollar edges higher as investors eye trade developments

The U.S. dollar traded higher Thursday, carving out gains against its major rivals as investors await further clarity on a potential trade deal between the U.S. and China, while looking ahead to March employment data due on Friday.

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index, DXY, +0.01%  a measure of the currency against six of its nearest trading rivals, was trading at 97.303, up 0.2%.

“The broad value of the USD is currently trading up 0.14% towards the end of the London morning,” wrote Stephen Gallo, European head of FX Strategy at BMO Capital Markets. “But as far as the impact of fundamentals on the FX space is concerned, today was a day of ‘neither rhyme nor reason.’ Put differently, there is no fundamental story per se behind USD strength.”

The next test for the dollar comes early on Friday with the release of the March employment report. Economists polled by MarketWatch are expecting 179,000 jobs to be added and the unemployment rate to remain steady at 3.8%.

“There are good reasons to expect a rebound. If the numbers come in as anticipated, that would certainly suggest growth continues and that last month’s weak report was an outlier,” wrote Brad McMillan, CIO of Commonwealth Financial Network.

In trade news, The Wall Street Journal reported that the White House may announce plans for a summit between President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping, signaling that talks may be nearing a conclusion.

“The key news of course is that the U.S. and China are getting closer to a deal (luckily we haven’t heard this before). Trump’s economic adviser Larry Kudlow noted yesterday that the talks were ‘making good headway,’ but he also warned that ‘hey are not there [yet].’ Trump is said to meet with China’s envoy Liu He today,” wrote Elwin de

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