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Forex- U.S. Dollar Flat as Weekly Jobless Claims Rise to Five-Month High

Investing.com - The U.S. dollar was unmoved on Thursday as the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose to an unexpected five-month high and there were no new comments on monetary policy from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 225,000 for the week ended Nov. 9, the highest reading since June 22, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Meanwhile Powell is testifying before Congress for the second day this week.

Powell said in written testimony on Wednesday that the U.S. economy is on track, but that the Fed was watching out for broader risks. He also indicated that the central bank is unlikely to keep cutting rates, after easing monetary policy three times this year.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was flat at 98.210 as of 10:50 AM ET (15:50 GMT). The biggest move within the basket was against the Aussie dollar, which fell 1% to its lowest in nearly a month after an abrupt weakening of the Australian labor market. That comes against the background of devastating bush fires that have also dented sentiment toward the Aussie in recent days, casting doubt over the country's long-term dependence on exports of natural resources such as coal that are widely linked to climate change.

The safe haven Japanese yen was higher with USD/JPY down 0.2% to 108.61.

Elsewhere, the euro was lower, with EUR/USD down 0.1% to 1.0996 as Germany barely escaped a recession in the third-quarter. Still, Brexit uncertainty and fallout from the U.S.-China trade war continue to cast a shadow on the bloc.

Sterling was flat with GBP/USD at 1.2849.

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