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HomeeconomyDollar to gain as 'winter blues' fade from data

Dollar to gain as ‘winter blues’ fade from data

The U.S. dollar will likely draw support from expected improvements in economic data this week, culminating in Friday's closely-watched jobs numbers, according to CNBC's latest survey of currency strategists and traders.

Importantly, key economic numbers for March – which will include Tuesday's ISM (Institute of Supply Management)'s manufacturing index and its services sector equivalent on Thursday – should be largely free of the distortions caused by recent extreme winter weather, and will likely show resilience in the broader economy.

Jeff Kowalsky | Bloomberg | Getty Images

"The U.S. seems to be shaking off the 'winter weather blues', with the broad complexion of the data looking overall less discouraging than the picture of consistent weakness seen in February," said Sean Callow, senior currency strategist at Westpac Bank.

On average, economists believe around 200,000 more Americans joined the workforce in March, according to Reuters estimates. Meanwhile, the ISM manufacturing index is forecast at 54.0, up slightly from the February level of 53.2.

"I suspect the payrolls will be another pro-risk number, endorsing the more hawkish Federal Reserve," said Simon Grose-Hodge, head of investment advisory, South Asia, at LGT Bank.

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About 65 percent (17 out of 26 respondents) in CNBC's weekly sentiment survey forecast gains in the U.S. dollar this trading week. Thirty-one percent (8 out of 26) said the currency would be little changed, while just one respondent said the dollar would weaken.

'Major move'

Dollar-bull UBS is calling for a March payrolls gain of 250,000, helping drive the jobless rate down to 6.6 percent from 6.7 percent.

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