The dollar is turning in a mixed performance against its major rivals Thursday afternoon, following the release of a large number of U.S. economic reports this morning. The buck is down against its major European rivals, but is up slightly against the Japanese Yen.
A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday unexpectedly showed first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits dipped to their lowest level in nearly fifty years in the week ended September 15th. The Labor Department said jobless claims edged down to 201,000, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 204,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to rise to 210,000.
After reporting a significant 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 a bigger than expected rebound in the pace of growth in the month of September.
The Philly Fed said its index for current general activity jumped to 22.9 in September after tumbling to 11.9 in August, with a positive reading indication growth in regional manufacturing activity. Economists had expected the index to climb to 17.0.
With sales growth in the Northeast and Midwest offset by downturns in the South and West, the National Association of Realtors released a report on Thursday showing existing home sales in the U.S. were unexpectedly flat in the month of August.
NAR said existing home sales came in at an annual rate of 5.34 million in August, unchanged from July. Economists had expected existing home sales to rise by 0.3 percent following the 0.7 percent drop in the previous month.
Indicating the U.S. economy will continue expanding through 2018, the Conference Board released a report on Thursday showing a continued increase by its index of leading economic indicators in the month of August.
The Conference Board said its leading economic index rose by 0.4 percent in August after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.7 percent in July. Economists had expected the index to advance by 0.5 percent compared to the 0.6 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.
The dollar has dropped to a 2-month low of $1.1765 against the Euro Thursday afternoon, form an early high of $1.1672.
Euro area consumer confidence weakened sharply in September to its lowest level in 15 months, initial estimates from the European Commission showed Thursday. The flash consumer confidence index dropped to -2.9 from -1.9 in August. Economists had forecast a score of -2.
The buck has fallen to a 2-month low of $1.3250 against the pound sterling, from an early high of $1.3138.
UK retail sales grew unexpectedly in August, thanks to warm weather and real wage growth, data from the Office for National Statistics revealed Thursday.
Retail sales volume, including auto fuel, gained 0.3 percent month-on-month in August, slower than the 0.9 percent increase seen in July, but in contrast to the expected fall of 0.2 percent. This was the second consecutive rise in sales volume.
The greenback slipped to a low of Y112.042 against the Japanese Yen Thursday, but has since climbed to around Y112.490.