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US Dollar Flat As Initial Jobless Claims Fall to Lowest Level of Pandemic

August 6, 2020 at 12:56 by Andrew Moran

A rolled dollar bill with some banknotes on the backgroundThe US dollar is trading relatively flat against its G10 currency counterparts after the US government reported that initial jobless claims declined to their lowest levels of the COVID-19 pandemic. The greenback has been trading quietly ahead of the July jobs report on Friday. The broader financial market, except the precious metals, was also subdued toward the end of the trading week.

According to the Department of Labor, the number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits came in at 1.186 million for the week ending August 1. This beats the market forecast of 1.415 million, and it was the lowest reading since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

Continuing jobless claims reached 16.107 million, while the four-week average, which eliminates the week-to-week volatility, topped 1.337 million.

Last week, initial jobless claims hit 1.434 million, continuing jobless claims touched 17.018 million, and the four-week average topped 1.368 million.

On Wednesday, ADP reported that private payrolls increased 167,000 in July, down from the 4.314 million in the previous month. But all eyes will be on the July jobs data on Friday, which is projected to show 1.6 million new jobs and an unemployment rate of 10.5%.

In other data, June imports rose for the second consecutive month by $9.5 billion to $208.9 billion, with automobiles, consumer goods, and capital goods leading the way. June exports also climbed for the second straight month by $13.6 billion to $158.3 billion, led by shipments of automobiles, capital goods, industrial supplies, and services. The US trade deficit fell to $50.7 billion.

The IHS Markit composite purchasing managers’ index (PMI) jumped to 50.3 last month, while the services PMI hit the 50 mark – anything above 50 indicates expansion. Moreover, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) non-manufacturing PMI advanced to 58.1 in July, beating the median estimate of 55. The ISM non-manufacturing activity reading increased to 67.2, non-manufacturing prices dropped to 57.6, non-manufacturing employment dipped to 42.1, and new orders soared to 67.7.

The US dollar was relatively flat after the jobs data was published as investors seemingly wait for the Friday labor report. The US Dollar Index, which gauges the greenback against a basket of currencies, dipped 0.03% to 1.1861, from an opening of 1.1866. The index has been trending downward this week, slumping 0.2% in recent sessions.

The USD/CAD currency pair edged up 0.1% to 1.3283, from an opening of 1.3270, at 12:46 GMT on Thursday. The EUR/USD dipped 0.05% to 1.1858, from an opening of 1.1866.

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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