The dollar strengthened against its peers today following the release of US jobless claims data and after US retail sales figures revealed a greater than forecast increase.  US jobless claims filings for the week ending June 6 rose from the previous week’s total of 277,000 to 279,000 while experts had forecast no change.  US retail sales rose by 1.2% in May ahead of forecasts for a 1.1% increase following an increase of 0.2% in April.  Core retail sales gained 1.0% in May edging out expectations for a 0.7% increase following an increase of 0.1% in April.  

The euro weakened against the dollar with the pair down roughly 0.8% trading at 1.1225 as doubt surrounding Greece’s debt situation lingered even though some remain optimistic an agreement will be reached which offered the euro some support.  Greece’s current agreement with the International Monetary Fund and the European Union for bailout funds is due to expire at the end of June and a new agreement is required so that additional debt repayments can be made.

The pound weakened against the dollar with the pair hitting a session low of 1.5420 coming off its 2.5 week high set yesterday as the dollar rebounded from yesterday’s losses leading up to today’s release of US data.  The pound had been supported by industrial output data released on Wednesday which revealed an increase of 0.4% in April beating expectations for a 0.1% increase.  

The yen weakened against the dollar with the pair up 0.8% trading at 123.64 off lows of 122.45 set yesterday.  After the pair had reached a session high of 124.15 the yen had rallied on the back of remarks from Bank of Japan Governor Kuroda who indicated that the relative value of the yen in comparison to the currencies of its trading partners may start to rise.  The pair was primarily moved by US retail sales data and the market returned to where it was before the data was released.  

The Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars weakened against the greenback.  The Aussie declined 0.2% trading at 0.7723 and the kiwi plummeting nearly 2% trading below 0.6985.  The kiwi dollar was pressured following an announcement from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand which in a shocking move lowered its key interest rate from 3.5% to 3.25%, marking the central bank’s first rate adjustment in 4 years.  The loonie lost 0.5% against the greenback with the pair trading at 1.2315.  Earlier in the session the dollar’s advances against the loonie were curtailed on varied US data and after reports that Canadian new house prices increased matching forecasts for April.  

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