The US dollar strengthened against the euro and fell against the British pound, the Canadian dollar, and the Japanese yen on Thursday. The greenback struggled for direction following a number of economic releases in the United States that revealed mixed data today, which raised uncertainty about the stability of the economic recovery.
The first release came from the US Census Bureau at 12:30 GMT, and said that new orders for durable goods manufactured in the United States increased $1.6 billion, or 0.7%, to $238.7 billion in March. The monthly gain, which was the third in a row, was smaller than an expected 1.2% increase, and compared to a 2.3% increase in February.
New orders of core durable goods, which excludes transportation, decreased 0.2% last month as most of the gain for durable goods came from a $2.0 billion, or 2.4%, increase in orders of transportation equipment. Economists forecast an increase of 0.4% for core durable goods orders in March following a 0.7% gain in February. The disappointing data weighed on the US currency, but its negative effect was partly offset by other releases today.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis also released a report that stated that the US international goods trade deficit grew $0.9 billion to $64.81 billion in March, from $63.90 billion in the previous month. The higher deficit compared to expectations of a larger growth to $65.50 billion. Exports of goods declined $2.2 billion to amount to $125.5 billion in March, while imports also declined $1.4 billion to $190.3 billion.
Simultaneously, the Department of Labor said that jobless claims rose more than expected in the week ended April 22. The seasonally adjusted number of initial claims rose 14,000 to 257,000 last week, which marks the highest level in a month and exceeded predictions of an increase to 245,000.
However, the number of claims remained below the 300,000 threshold, which is associated with a healthy labor market, for 112 consecutive weeks in the longest similar run since 1970. Meanwhile, the less volatile moving average of the last 4 weeks decreased 500 to 242,250.
Todayâs last major data release was from the National Association of Realtors, which revealed that pending home sales remained stronger than expected in March. The pending home sales index declined 0.8% to 111.4 in March from 112.3 in February, which was a smaller decline than expected as the index remained near recent highs.
EUR/USD traded at 1.0879 as of 20:10 GMT on Thursday from 1.0852 as of 14:10 GMT, the pairâs lowest level since April 25. EUR/USD began trading today at 1.0910. GBP/USD was at 1.2910, a level last seen on October 4, from 1.2846 when todayâs session began.
USD/JPY moved to 111.15 from 111.12 at 15:55 GMT, the pairâs weakest level since April 26. USD/JPY kicked off trading today at 111.23. USD/CAD traded at 1.3619 after giving up gains to 1.3666 at 15:55 GMT. USD/CAD was at 1.3620 when the day started.
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