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US Dollar Mixed on Widening Trade Deficit, Higher Initial Jobless Claims

May 30, 2019 at 16:56 by Andrew Moran

A heap of USD notes and a heap of US centsThe US dollar is mixed against a basket of currencies on Thursday as data has been both good and bad for the world’s largest economy. With the US-China trade war seemingly worsening, investors have been clamoring for some excellent data to offset the lackluster development in trade talks.

According to the US Census Bureau, the trade deficit in goods increased in April from $71.9 billion to $72.1 billion. Every category of exports and imports declined as the former slipped 4.2% and the latter tumbled by 2.7%. The biggest piece of data was the 7.2% collapse in automobile exports and the 6.5% slide in capital-goods exports.

Over the last 12 months, US exports have tumbled 3.6% and imports have dipped just 0.9%.

Meanwhile, wholesale inventoried surged 0.7% and retail supplies advanced 0.5%.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose by 3,000 to 215,000 in the week ending May 25. The biggest gains were situated in Michigan (2,267), New York (1,011), Missouri (839), and New Jersey (798). The largest losses were found in Ohio (3,264), Pennsylvania (2,073), and Florida (456).

In the housing market, pending home sales contracted 1.5% in April, down from a 3.9% boost in the previous month. On Wednesday, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) found that mortgage applications slumped 3.3% in the week ending May 24, down from last week’s 2.4% spike.

Preliminary corporate profits fell 3.5% in the first quarter, which is far lower the market forecast of a 1.7% increase.

A second estimate of the US economy’s performance in the January-to-March period came in at an annualized 3.1%, slightly down from the earlier gross domestic product (GDP) projection of 3.2%.

The USD/CAD currency pair declined 0.1% to 1.3504, from an opening of 1.3520, at 16:46 GMT on Thursday. The EUR/USD edged up 0.02% to 1.1134, from an opening of 1.1133.

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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