FOREX-Dollar edges higher as U.S. jobs report is stronger than expected

(Updates to after U.S. jobs report, changes dateline, previous LONDON) By Caroline Valetkevitch NEW YORK, Oct 7 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar strengthened against major currencies on Friday after U.S. data showing employers hired more workers than expected in September, suggesting the Federal Reserve will likely stick to its aggressive tightening policy for now. The dollar pared losses against the Japanese yen and was last flat, while the euro extended losses against the dollar and was last down 0.3% at $0.9764. The yen remained close to a 24-year low of 145.90 hit last month, which had prompted an intervention by Japanese authorities to shore up the fragile currency. "The U.S. dollar is a crowded position, and any sign of U.S. economic weakness will weigh heavily on the dollar, but it certainly didn't come with nonfarm payrolls," said Adam Button, chief currency analyst at ForexLive in Toronto. "The dollar just got a little bit more crowded with this data," he said. "The U.S. economy is strong." Nonfarm payrolls increased by 263,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said in its closely watched employment report. Data for August was unrevised to show 315,000 jobs added as previously reported. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 250,000 job gains, with estimates ranging from as low as 127,000 to as high as 375,000. Overnight, a number of Fed officials reinforced the view that the central bank is nowhere near finished with raising rates as it seeks to tame inflation, and interest rates are expected to go up further. U.S. inflation data, due next week, will be watched closely as well and could prove influential in setting investors' expectations for the Fed, according to strategists. The U.S. central bank, in an effort to tame inflation, has hiked its policy rate from near-zero at the beginning of this year to the current range of 3.00% to 3.25%, and last month signaled more large increases were on the way this year. A U.S. dollar index which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies was last up 0.1%. The index is up about 18% for the year so far. Sterling was down 0.1% at $1.1148, having fallen 1.4% overnight. It jumped earlier this week, after the British government reversed a planned cut to the highest rate of income tax. ======================================================== Currency bid prices at 9:22AM (1322 GMT) Description RIC Last U.S. Close Pct Change YTD Pct High Bid Low Bid Previous Change Session Dollar index 112.3900 112.2500 +0.14% 17.485% +112.8400 +111.9400 Euro/Dollar $0.9764 $0.9793 -0.29% -14.11% +$0.9817 +$0.9727 Dollar/Yen 145.0200 145.1400 -0.09% +25.96% +145.3350 +144.5500 Euro/Yen 141.60 142.11 -0.36% +8.66% +142.2100 +141.3000 Dollar/Swiss 0.9923 0.9905 +0.18% +8.78% +0.9953 +0.9882 Sterling/Dollar $1.1148 $1.1160 -0.08% -17.55% +$1.1225 +$1.1092 Dollar/Canadian 1.3713 1.3748 -0.28% +8.43% +1.3760 +1.3703 Aussie/Dollar $0.6403 $0.6411 -0.09% -11.89% +$0.6432 +$0.6370 Euro/Swiss 0.9687 0.9696 -0.09% -6.58% +0.9715 +0.9681 Euro/Sterling 0.8755 0.8770 -0.17% +4.23% +0.8790 +0.8737 NZ Dollar/Dollar $0.5643 $0.5655 -0.14% -17.50% +$0.5673 +$0.5610 Dollar/Norway 10.6900 10.7100 +0.24% +21.87% +10.7565 +10.6940 Euro/Norway 10.4368 10.4909 -0.52% +4.28% +10.5129 +10.4355 Dollar/Sweden 11.1363 11.1186 -0.42% +23.49% +11.1986 +11.0790 Euro/Sweden 10.8681 10.9134 -0.42% +6.24% +10.9401 +10.8550 (Additional reporting by Amanda Cooper in London and Rae Wee in Singapore; Editing by Shri Navaratnam, Ana Nicolaci da Costa, William Maclean and Jonathan Oatis)