US Dollar Weakens on Durable Goods, Weekly Jobless Claims
The US dollar was weaker Thursday, as mixed economic data reminded the forex market economic growth was probably subdued in the early part of the first quarter.
The US dollar declined 0.2 percent against a basket of currencies, sending the US dollar index to 80.27. The greenback was under pressure after the Commerce Department confirmed durable goods orders declined in January at a pace of 1 percent. Excluding transportation, however, durables rose 1.1 percent, a sign factories were recovering after the winter slowdown.
A separate report from the Labor Department showed initial jobless claims rose for the second consecutive week. In total, 348,000 people applied for unemployment benefits last week, up 14,000 from the previous week.
The EURUSD pair rose to a session high of 1.3727 on largely positive Eurozone data. Eurozone economic sentiment, business climate and industrial confidence all rose in February, according to the European Commission. Unemployment in Europe’s largest economy, meanwhile, declined for the third consecutive month. As of 18:15 GMT, the EURUSD pair was trading at 1.3710, a gain of 25 pips.
The idle British pound strengthened versus the US dollar, hitting a session high of 1.6696. As of 18:15 GMT, the GBPUSD pair was trading at 1.6682, a gain of 14 pips.
The USDJPY consolidated lower, as forex traders prepared for several high profile data releases from Japan. The Japanese government is scheduled to report on inflation, unemployment and retail trade before the end of the week. As of 18:15 GMT, the USDJPY pair was trading at 102.13, a loss of nearly 0.3 percent.
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