The U.S. dollar continued to be higher against its major counterparts in early New York deals on Thursday, as a data showed that U.S. weekly jobless claims unexpectedly declined last week to their lowest level in almost five decades.
Data from the Labor Department showed that initial jobless claims fell to 207,000, a decrease of 8,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 215,000.
Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 220,000 from the 214,000 originally reported for the previous week.
Meanwhile, data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia showed that the pace of growth in regional manufacturing activity rebounded more than expected in July.
The Philly Fed said its index for current general activity climbed to 25.7 in July from 19.9 in June, with a positive reading indicating growth in regional manufacturing activity. Economists had expected the index to inch up to 22.0.
The demand for the dollar was also underpinned by upbeat remarks from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who reiterated that strong growth will keep the Fed on its current path of gradually raising interest rates.
Investors focused on new developments on global trade disputes, as Larry Kudlow, U.S. President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, blamed Chinese President Xi Jinping for blocking a U.S.-China trade deal and suggested that the European Union will be offering a significant free trade offer during a visit to the U.S. next week.
The currency has been trading in a positive territory against its major counterparts in the European session.
The greenback spiked up to 1.2958 against the pound, a level not seen since September 2017. If the greenback continues its rise, 1.28 is possibly seen as its next resistance level.
Preliminary data from the Office for National Statistics showed that U.K. retail sales unexpectedly declined in June, but the quarterly growth rate was the fastest since 2015.
Retail sales dropped 0.5 percent from the previous month, while economists’ were looking for a 0.2 percent increase. The decline came after a two months of strong growth. In May, sales rose 1.4 percent.
The greenback advanced to near a 3-week high of 1.1575 against the euro, from a low of 1.1657 seen at 9:00 pm ET. The greenback is likely to find resistance around the 1.13 level.
The greenback climbed to a 6-day high of 1.0043 against the franc and a 6-1/2-month high of 113.17 against the yen, from its early 2-day lows of 0.9981 and 112.65, respectively. On the upside, 1.02 and 115.00 are likely seen as the next resistance levels for the greenback against the franc and the yen, respectively.
The greenback firmed to more than 2-week highs of 0.6716 against the kiwi and 0.7323 against the aussie, reversing from an early session’s low of 0.6805 and a 3-day low of 0.7441, respectively. The next possible resistance for the greenback is seen around 1.34 against the kiwi and 0.72 against the aussie.
The greenback strengthened to near a 3-week high of 1.3268 against the loonie, coming off from an early 2-day low of 1.3160. The greenback is seen finding resistance around the 1.34 mark.