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US Dollar Weakens As Initial Jobless Claims Fall Below One Million

August 13, 2020 at 13:00 by Andrew Moran

Benjamin Franklin looks from a 100 dollar notesThe US dollar is weakening against several of its G10 currency counterparts on Thursday after it was reported that the number of Americans fell below one million for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The greenback had shown signs of momentum earlier this week, but it has pared most of those gains as the buck is on track to test fresh multi-week lows. Where is the dollar headed?

According to the Department of Labor, initial jobless claims came in at 963,000 in the week ending August 8, beating the median estimate of 1.12 million. This is the first time the metric has slipped below one million since the beginning of the public health crisis. Last week, the number of Americans applying for first-time jobless benefits reached 1.191 million.

Continuing jobless claims dropped to 15.486 million, while the four-week moving average, which eliminates the week-to-week volatility, topped 1.252 million.

Import prices picked up 0.7% in July, down from the 1.4% gain in June. The market had penciled in a jump of 0.6%. Export prices rose 0.8% last month, down from the 1.2% boost in the previous month. This is higher than the 0.4% analysts had anticipated.

This comes one day after the consumer price index (CPI) advanced 0.6% in July, unchanged from the previous month. The core inflation rate, which strips out volatile food and energy, surged at an annualized rate of 1.6%.

Financial markets are still waiting for an official announcement of the White House and Democratic lawmakers agreeing to another stimulus bill. The leading stock indexes were flat in pre-market trading.

The bond market was mixed on Thursday. The 10-year benchmark Treasury was flat at 0.685%, while the two-year bill edged up 0.002% to 0.161%. The 30-year bond added 0.006% to 1.371%.

The US Dollar Index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, slumped 0.36% to 93.11, from an opening of 93.37. The index has cratered more than 7% since May, bringing its year-to-date loss to 3.4%.

The USD/CAD currency pair tumbled 0.2% to 1.3222, from an opening of 1.3248, at 12:55 GMT on Thursday. The EUR/USD surged 0.44% to 1.1838, from an opening of 1.1785.

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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