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US Dollar Surges Amid Mixed Economic Data

October 25, 2018 at 18:19 by Andrew Moran

US dollar banknotes and coinsThe US dollar is rallying against a basket of currencies on Thursday after the release of a mixed bag of economic data. The greenback has been trading higher over the last few trading sessions, helping the currency add to its impressive year-to-date gains.

Last month, orders for durable goods rose 0.8%, the third increase in the last four months, driven by orders for defense goods and transportation. The market did anticipate a 1.9% decline after there was a 4.6% spike in August. Orders for core capital goods dipped 0.1% and shipments of durable goods advanced 1.3% in September.

According to new data from the Census Bureau, the US trade deficit widened to $76.0 billion last month, lower than the market expectations of $76.2 billion. The report showed that exports climbed 1.8% to $140.952 billion and imports rose 1.5% to $216.988 billion. For the second consecutive month, US exports of beverages, feeds, and foods were impacted by the trade war as they tumbled 8.9%. However, industrial supply exports soared 5.9% and imports of capital and consumer goods jumped 3.6%,

The same report found that wholesale inventories jumped 0.3%, while retail inventories edged up 0.1%.

In September, new-home sales plummeted to a two-year low of 553,000, a 5.5% decrease from August, reports the Department of Commerce. Year-to-date, sales are only 3.5% higher than a year ago. The median selling price was $320,000, a 3.5% dip from last year.

On the labor front, the number of Americans receiving jobless benefits plunged to a 45-year low of 202,000 in the week ending September 15. But new applications for US unemployment assistance did rise by 5,000, the Department of Labor says.

The US Dollar Index surged 0.33% to 96.68.

The USD/CAD currency pair rose 0.16% to 1.3079, from an opening of 1.3059, at 17:53 GMT on Thursday. The EUR/USD rose 0.29% to 1.1393, from an opening of 1.1361.

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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