Dollar falls a fourth day on weak US housing and jobless claims data
The US dollar weakened for a fourth day today as a string of disappointing US economic data weighed on the currency.
On Thursday, data showed jobless claims increased by 12,000 to 294,000 in the week ending April 11. This was more than the previous week’s 282,000 claims and was more than what economists forecast between 280,000 to 284,000.
The only bright side to the numbers was that the number of applications for first time unemployment benefits has remained below the key 300,000 threshold for a sixth week.
Separate data on Thursday showed that US building permits and housing starts rose less than expected in March. There is concern that the housing market has slowed down as the number of new houses being built increased at the weakest pace in a year. Housing starts rose less than forecast last month at an annualized rate of 926,000 houses.
The lukewarm data will probably push the Federal Reserve to delay hiking rates. Until recently, most forecasts were for interest rates to rise in June but now many have pushed back the date to September and some don’t expect a hike until 2016.
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