The dollar is turning in a mixed performance against its major rivals Thursday afternoon, but remains little changed overall. Investors have had a rather muted reaction to a deluge of economic data this morning. Traders appear to be getting an early start to the upcoming Easter holiday weekend.
First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly edged lower in the week ended March 24th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday. The report said initial jobless claims dipped to 215,000, a decrease of 12,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 227,000.
Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 230,000 from the 229,000 originally reported for the previous week.
Personal income and spending both increased in line with economist estimates in the month of February, the Commerce Department revealed in a report on Thursday.
The report said personal income climbed by 0.4 percent in February, matching the increases seen in the two previous months as well as expectations.
The Commerce Department also said personal spending rose by 0.2 percent for the second consecutive month. The uptick in spending also matched estimates.
Consumer sentiment in the U.S. improved by slightly less than initially estimated in the month of March, according to a report released by the University of Michigan on Thursday. The report said the consumer sentiment index for March was downwardly revised to 101.4 from the preliminary reading of 102.0. Economists had expected the index to be unrevised.
A report released by MNI Indicators on Thursday unexpectedly showed a slowdown in the pace of growth in Chicago-area business activity in the month of March.
MNI Indicators said its Chicago business barometer slumped to 57.4 in March from 61.9 in February. While a reading above 50 still indicates growth, economists had expected the barometer to inch up to 62.0.
The dollar fell to an early low of $1.2335 against the Euro Thursday, but has since rebounded to around $1.23.
Germany’s unemployment rate remained unchanged in February, the labor force survey from Destatis revealed Thursday. The jobless rate held steady at adjusted 3.5 percent in February. The number of unemployed totaled 1.51 million, which was down by around 11,000 from the previous month.
Germany’s unemployment decreased more-than-expected and the jobless rate hit a record low in March as companies created more jobs to expand capacity.
The number of people out of work decreased by 19,000 to 2.373 million in March, the Federal Labor Agency said Thursday. Unemployment was expected to fall 15,000 after declining 23,000 in February.
The jobless rate fell to 5.3 percent in March, in line with expectations, from 5.4 percent in February. This was the lowest since reunification in 1990.
The buck dipped to a low of $1.4095 against the pound sterling Thursday morning, but has since bounced back to a 1-week high of $1.4035.
The UK economy expanded at a slower pace as previously estimated in the fourth quarter, final data from the Office for National Statistics showed Thursday. Gross domestic product grew 0.4 percent quarter-on-quarter, slower than the 0.5 percent expansion seen in the preceding period. The rate came in line with the second estimate published on February 22.
UK mortgage approvals declined more than expected in February, the Bank of England reported Thursday. The number of loans approved for house purchases fell to 63,910 from 67,110 in January. The expected level was 66,000.
UK consumer sentiment strengthened to the highest level in ten months in March, survey data from GfK showed Thursday. The consumer confidence index rose to -7 in March from -10 in February. This was the highest score since May, when the reading was -5.
UK house prices increased at a slower pace in March, data from Nationwide Building Society showed Thursday. House prices grew 2.1 percent year-on-year in March, slower than the 2.2 percent increase seen in February. A similar slower growth was last seen in August. Economists had forecast a 2.6 percent rise.
The greenback has pulled back to around Y106.490 against the Japanese Yen Thursday afternoon, from an early high of Y106.930.
The total value of retail sales in Japan advanced a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent on month in February, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said on Thursday. That was shy of expectations for 0.6 percent following the upwardly revised 1.6 percent contraction in January.