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US Dollar Rises on Strong Housing Starts and Jobless Claims Data

January 19, 2017 at 22:18 by Yahia Barakah

Focus on one US dollarThe US dollar climbed higher against its major peers on Thursday as data in the United States reflected a strong picture of the economic growth. The US currency had its biggest gains today against the euro after the European Central Bank maintained its monetary stimulus.

The US dollar rose following a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. During her speech, she said that she believes interest rates will be raised a few times every year until 2019. She added that this forecast is shared by most of her colleagues and members of the Federal Reserve board.

The hawkish comments supported the dollar, but traders remained cautious ahead of Donald Trump’s coming inauguration on Friday. The president-elect spoke against the dollar’s strength in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, causing the US currency to go through a sharp decline against its rivals.

On the economic front, the US Department of Labor said today that initial jobless claims dropped by 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 234,000 in the week that ended January 14. Data for the previous week was revised up by 2,000 to 249,000. The average number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits during the past 4 weeks is at its lowest point since November 1973.

The US Department of Commerce released its report on housing starts in December 2016, which showed that housing starts rose by 11.3% from the previous month and by 5.7% from December 2015. The report signaled that the housing market may have played a major part in US economic growth during the last quarter of 2016.

EUR/USD traded at 1.0663 as of 21:55 GMT on Thursday, from 1.0589 14:55 GMT, the pair’s lowest level since January 16. EUR/USD opened trading today at 1.0630.

If you have any questions, comments, or opinions regarding the US Dollar, feel free to post them using the commentary form below.

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