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U.S. Dollar Inches Higher After Jobless Claims

12/14/2018, 10:37:07 AMMarket Analysis
U.S. Dollar Inches Higher After Jobless Claims

The U.S. dollar was higher on Thursday, as the number of people who filed for first-time unemployment benefits hit a two-and-a-half month low.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, rose 0.19% to 97.20 as of 10:18 AM ET (15:18 GMT).

The dollar was boosted after the U.S. Department of Labor said that the number of individuals applying for initial jobless benefits in the seven days ended Dec. 8 decreased by 27,000 to a seasonally adjusted 206,000.

Meanwhile the pound was slightly higher after UK Prime Minister Theresa May survived a vote of no confidence on Wednesday evening. Brexit woes continue despite the victory, as it seems unlikely that May’s party will support her agreement with Brussels on leaving the European Union in March.

GBP/USD inched up 0.04% to 1.2635.

The dollar was higher against the safe-heaven Japanese yen, with USD/JPY increasing 0.27% to 113.62.

The euro was lower after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi warned against downside risks, with EUR/USD falling 0.17% to 1.1348.

Draghi commented that recent data had been “weaker than expected” as he announced that the outlook for economic growth was revised “slightly down” in 2018 and 2019 to 1.9% and 1.7%, respectively.

Elsewhere, NZD/USD fell 0.07% to 0.6852 while AUD/USD was up 0.08% to 0.7225. The Canadian dollar decreased with USD/CAD up 0.11% to 1.3364.