Dollar Rallies on Upbeat U.S. Economic Data
The U.S dollar jumped against its rivals on Thursday as mostly upbeat economic data pointed to strength in the underlying economy.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose by 0.50% to 97.14.
The U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that initial jobless claims dropped by 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 192,000 for the week ended April 14, beating economists’ forecast for a rise to 205,000.
The Philadelphia Fed said Thursday its manufacturing index slowed to a reading of 8.5 in April, from 13.4 in last month.
But the Commerce Department said retail sales fell 1.6% last month. That exceeded economists' forecast for a 0.9 % rise. The retail sales control group – which has a larger impact on U.S. GDP – added 1%, well above expectation for a 0.4% increase.
The retail sales report showed the biggest headline gain since 2017 and comes after "lots of distortions in recent months, including weather, sluggish tax refunds, the government shutdown, and now a late Easter," Action Economics said.
A sharp drop in the euro also supported the dollar. Concerns that the eurozone economy is slowing were strengthened in after weaker-than-expected manufacturing reports from Germany and France.
EUR/USD fell 0.57% to $1.1230.
GBP/USD lost 0.42% to $1.2988, shrugging off better-than-expected U.K. retail sales data amid fears that U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn are unlikely to reach a consensus a Brexit deal.
USD/JPY fell 0.10% to Y111.94, while USD/CAD rose 0.30% to C$1.3378.