Dollar Little Changed After Early Gains Erode

The buck got off to a positive start Thursday, but has since pared its early gains. The dollar is holding onto gains against the British pound, but has turned lower against the Euro and the Japanese Yen.

A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed an unexpected decrease in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended July 14th, with initial jobless claims falling to their lowest level in almost five decades.

The Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell to 207,000, a decrease of 8,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 215,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 220,000 from the 214,000 originally reported for the previous week.

After reporting a notable slowdown in the pace of growth in regional manufacturing activity in the previous month, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia released a report on Thursday showing the pace of growth in manufacturing activity rebounded more than expected in July.

The Philly Fed said its index for current general activity climbed to 25.7 in July from 19.9 in June, with a positive reading indicating growth in regional manufacturing activity. Economists had expected the index to inch up to 22.0.

Pointing to continuing solid growth in the U.S. economy, the Conference Board released a report on Thursday showing a bigger than expected increase by its index of leading economic indicators in the month of June.

The Conference Board said its leading economic index climbed by 0.5 percent in June after revised data showed no change in May. Economists had expected the index to rise by 0.4 percent compared to the 0.2 percent uptick originally reported for the previous month.

The dollar climbed to an early 2-week high of $1.1574 against the Euro Thursday, but has since retreated to around $1.1650.

The buck rose to a 10-month high of $1.2957 against the pound sterling Thursday morning, but has since eased back to around $1.3025.

UK retail sales unexpectedly declined in June, but the quarterly growth rate was the fastest since 2015, preliminary data from the Office for National Statistics showed Thursday.

Retail sales dropped 0.5 percent from the previous month, while economists’ were looking for a 0.2 percent increase. The decline came after a two months of strong growth. In May, sales rose 1.4 percent.

The greenback reached an early high of Y113.167 against the Japanese Yen Thursday morning, but has since pulled back to around Y112.385.

Japan posted a merchandise trade surplus of 721.408 billion yen in June, the Ministry of Finance said on Thursday, up 66.5 percent on year. That exceeded expectations for a surplus of 531.2 billion yen following the 578.3 billion yen deficit in May.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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