The dollar weakened against its peers today following the release of US economic data which presented a muddled outlook over the state of the economy and as investors remained watchful concentrating on the oil market. The US Department of Labor released data which revealed that US jobless claims filed last week rose by 10,000 to 272,000 from the previous week’s total of 262,000. Experts forecast a total of 270,000 for last week. The US Commerce Department reported that total durable goods orders were up 4.9% in January well beyond expectations for an increase of 2.5%. Core durable goods orders which do not include transportation items rose by 1.8% in January edging out forecasts for a rise of 0.2%. Oil prices clung above $31 per barrel despite lingering worry over the global surplus after weekly data released yesterday revealed that US stockpiles climbed to its highest level ever last week. The US dollar index was down 0.09% trading at 97.42.
The euro strengthened against the dollar with the pair up 0.15% trading at 1.1032 off its session low of 1.0986 after having come off its session high of 1.1045 reached earlier in the day. Data released out of the euro zone revealed that consumer price inflation for the region increased by 0.3% in January in line with expectations. Core CPI which excludes food, energy, alcohol and tobacco costs, climbed by 1.0% in January also in line with expectations. The euro has been pressured recently by the growing likelihood the European Central Bank will soon expand its stimulus program.
The pound strengthened against the dollar with the pair up over 0.1% trading at 1.3961 off its session low of 1.3899 after having come off its session high 1.3996 reached earlier in the day. The pound remained pressured to the downside as many members of Prime Minister David Cameron’s Consecutive party alongside London Mayor Boris Johnson have announced their support of a campaign to exit the European Union. The UK Office for National Statistics released data which revealed that UK’s GDP grew 0.5% in the 1st quarter matching forecasts.
The yen weakened against the dollar with the pair up over 0.5% trading at session highs of 112.97 after having come off its session low of 111.89 reached earlier in the day. The yen has surged 8% against the greenback on the month thus far taking full advantage of its traditional safe haven status amid global financial unrest. In light of Japanese GDP contracting in the 4th quarter and consumer spending spiraling down the Bank of Japan may need to ramp up stimulus measures at its next policy meeting in March.
The Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars strengthened against the greenback as US data pushed the dollar lower and the market traded guardedly. The Aussie was up over 0.2% against the dollar with the pair trading at session highs of 0.7235 after having come off its session low of 0.7156 reached earlier in the day. The kiwi dollar rose over 0.6% against the greenback with the pair trading at session highs of 0.6718 after having come off its session low of 0.6642 reached earlier in the day. The Aussie had weakened earlier in the session overlooking better than forecast figures on capital spending. Building capital expenditure in Australia for the 4th quarter was up 1.2%. The loonie climbed over 1% with the pair trading at session lows of 1.3516 after having come off its session high of 1.3734 reached earlier in the day. The loonie had risen to 2 month highs against the greenback following the release of varied US data even though oil prices posted new declines.
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