The dollar is down slightly against all of its major rivals Thursday afternoon. Traders were confronted with a high volume of economic reports this morning the results of which were mixed. However, the employment data remained positive ahead of tomorrow’s jobs report for August.
First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits edged slightly higher in the week ended August 26th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday. The report said initial jobless claims inched up to 236,000, an increase of 1,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 235,000.
Economists had expected jobless claims to rise to 237,000 from the 234,000 originally reported for the previous week.
A report released by the Commerce Department on Thursday showed U.S. personal income rose by slightly more than expected in the month of July, while personal spending increased by slightly less than expected.
The Commerce Department said personal income climbed by 0.4 percent in July after coming in unchanged in June. Economists had expected income to rise by 0.3 percent.
Meanwhile, the report said personal spending rose by 0.3 percent in July after edging up by 0.2 percent in June. Spending had been expected to increase by 0.4 percent.
Chicago-area business activity saw continued growth in the month of August, according to a report released by MNI Indicators on Thursday. MNI Indicators said its Chicago business barometer came in at 58.9 in August, unchanged from July. A reading above 50 indicates growth. Economists had expected the barometer to edge down to 58.5.
With inventory woes throughout the country continuing to stall contract activity, the National Association of Realtors released a report on Thursday showing an unexpected drop in pending home sales in the U.S. in the month of July.
NAR said its pending home sales index fell by 0.8 percent to 109.1 in July from a downwardly revised 110.0 in June. Economists had expected pending home sales to rise by 0.5 percent.
The dollar climbed to an early high of $1.1822 against the Euro Thursday, but has since eased back to around $1.19.
Eurozone inflation climbed to a four-month high in August on energy prices, flash data from Eurostat showed Thursday. Inflation accelerated to 1.5 percent in August from 1.3 percent in July. This was the highest since April and above the expected rate of 1.4 percent.
The euro area unemployment rate remained unchanged at the lowest level in more than eight years in July, Eurostat reported Thursday. The jobless rate held steady at 9.1 percent in July, the lowest since February 2009. The rate also matched expectations.
Germany’s retail sales increased at a slightly faster pace in July, data from Destatis showed Thursday. Retail sales grew 2.7 percent year-on-year in July, slightly faster than the revised 2.6 percent increase seen in June. Nonetheless, the annual pace of expansion was slower than the expected 2.9 percent.
Germany’s unemployment decreased in August, reports said citing data from the Federal Labor Agency on Thursday. The number of unemployed decreased by 5,000 in August from July. Economists had forecast a decrease 6,000 for August.
Germany’s unemployment rate fell slightly in July, figures from Destatis showed Thursday. The unemployment rate dropped marginally to 3.7 percent in July from 3.8 percent in June. The number of unemployed decreased by around 27,000 to 1.59 million.
France’s inflation accelerated to a four-month high in August, provisional estimate from the statistical office Insee showed Thursday. Consumer price inflation rose to 0.9 percent in August, in line with expectations, from 0.7 percent in July. This was the highest rate since April, when inflation was 1.2 percent.
The buck rose to a high of $1.2850 against the pound sterling Thursday morning, but has since retreated to around $1.2920.
Consumer confidence in the United Kingdom ticked slightly higher in August, the latest survey from GfK revealed on Thursday with an index score of -10. That beat forecasts for a score of -13 and was up from -12 in July.
The greenback reached an early high of Y110.668 against the Japanese Yen Thursday, but has since dropped to around Y110.050.
Industrial output in Japan fell a seasonally adjusted 0.8 percent on month in July, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said on Thursday. That missed forecasts for a decline of 0.3 percent following the 2.2 percent spike in June.
Japan’s housing starts declined more than expected in July, data from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism revealed Thursday. Housing starts decreased 2.3 percent year-on-year in July, in contrast to a 1.7 percent rise in June. This was also bigger than the expected drop of 0.2 percent.
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