The US dollar is looking to pare some of its losses as the trading week winds down. The greenback, which has lost some of its momentum this month, is finding support from cautious investors in the global financial markets amid the growing number of COVID-19 infections worldwide. Although economic data is doing better than the market forecasts, it is the level of uncertainty that is sending traders into safe-haven assets.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), initial jobless claims totaled 547,000 in the week ending April 17, below the median estimate of 617,000. This is the lowest level of the pandemic era.
Continuing jobless claims fell to 3.674 million, while the four-week average, which eliminates week-to-week volatility, dropped to 651,000.
An additional pandemic low of 131,975 applications for benefits through a temporary federal-relief program was recorded. When new federal and state applications were combined, the number of applications for jobless claims was just under 745,000. This is also a pandemic low.
New applications for unemployment benefits dropped the most in California, Ohio, and Virginia.
Here is also an interesting figure from MarketWatch:
“The number of people already collecting traditional unemployment benefits, meanwhile, fell by 87,991 to 3.94 million and set a new pandemic low.
The decline is not quite as good as it looks, though. An additional 5.2 million who have exhausted state compensation were getting benefits through an emergency program funded by the federal government.”
In other economic data, existing home sales tumbled 3.7% in March to 6.01 million, lower than the market expectation of 0.8%. The Chicago Fed National Activity Index jumped 1.71%, while the Conference Board Leading Index advanced at a better-than-expected pace of 1.3%.
The bond market was mixed on Thursday, with the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield down 0.005% to 1.559%. The one-year bill was unchanged at 0.063%, while the 30-year bond shed 0.017% to 2.246%.
The US Dollar Index (DXY), which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, rose 0.12% to 91.26%. The index is on track for a weekly loss of about 0.4%, paring its year-to-date gain to below 1.5%.
The USD/CAD currency pair jumped 0.05% to 1.2506, from an opening of 1.2498, at 15:04 GMT on Thursday. The EUR/USD declined 0.12% to 1.2022, from an opening of 1.2035.