The dollar is rising against all of its major rivals Thursday afternoon. Traders are reacting to some better than expected U.S. economic data this morning and the policy statement from the European Central Bank.
After reporting a slight drop in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the previous week, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing a modest rebound in initial jobless claims in the week ended October 20th.
The report said initial jobless claims crept up to 215,000, an increase of 5,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 210,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 214,000.
New orders for U.S. manufactured durable goods unexpectedly increased in the month of September, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Thursday. The report said durable goods orders climbed by 0.8 percent in September after surging up by 4.6 percent in August. Economists had expected orders to drop by 0.9 percent.
Reflecting significant growth in the West and Midwest, the National Association of Realtors released a report on Thursday showing an unexpected increase in U.S. pending home sales in the month of September.
NAR said its pending home sales index climbed by 0.5 percent to 104.6 in September after tumbling by 1.9 percent to a revised 104.1 in August. The rebound came as a surprise to economists, who had been expecting pending home sales to edge down by 0.1 percent.
The European Central Bank left its interest rates as well as its forward guidance unchanged on Thursday for a third consecutive policy session and reaffirmed that the its massive asset purchase program would end in December.
“The Governing Council expects the key ECB interest rates to remain at their present levels at least through the summer of 2019, and in any case for as long as necessary to ensure the continued sustained convergence of inflation to levels that are below, but close to, 2 percent over the medium term,” the ECB said in a statement following the conclusion of the Governing Council meeting in Frankfurt.
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said on Thursday that policymakers were confident regarding the economy and that the inflation is gradually approaching its aim of “below, but close to 2 percent.”
Draghi also expressed confidence that his home country Italy and the European Commission would reach an agreement over budget finances. He also urged the private sector to prepare for a hard Brexit, saying such an event could cause “financial uneasiness.”
The dollar has climbed to over a 2-month high of $1.1360 against the Euro Thursday afternoon, from an early low of $1.1432.
Germany’s business sentiment weakened for the second straight month in October on geopolitical tensions, survey data from the Mannheim-based Ifo institute showed Thursday. The business climate index fell more-than-expected to 102.8 in October from 103.7 in September. The expected score was 103.2.
The buck has risen to nearly a 2-month high of $1.2820 against the pound sterling Thursday afternoon, from an early low of $1.2919.
The greenback slid to a low of Y111.819 against the Japanese Yen Thursday, but has since climbed to Y112.615.
Producer prices in Japan were up 1.2 percent on year in September, the Bank of Japan said on Thursday, matching expectations and down from 1.3 percent in August.