Friday, March 23, 2018

Dollar loses further ground against other majors, hits more than two-year lowsDollar loses further ground against other majors, hits more than two-year lows – The dollar dropped to 32-month lows against the other major currencies on Thursday, after the release of downbeat U.S. jobless claims data and as remarks by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi sent the euro broadly higher.

The greenback weakened after the U.S. Labor Department reported on Thursday that initial jobless claims rose more than expected to 298,000 last week.

The data came a day after a brief sigh of relief on the U.S. political front.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump concluded a surprise deal with Democrats in Congress to extend the debt ceiling, providing government funding until December 15 and potentially avoiding an unprecedented default on U.S. government debt.

EUR/USD climbed 0.67% to 1.1998

The euro found broad support after the ECB President Mario Draghi said that recent euro volatility was a source of uncertainty and that the ECB will decide on the “calibration” of policy measures in the autumn.

He added that the central bank’s outlook for growth and inflation in the euro area remained “broadly unchanged”.

The comments came after the ECB left interest rates unchanged, in a widely expected move.

The safe-haven yen and Swiss franc remained higher, with USD/JPY down 0.58% at 108.60 and with USD/CHF retreating 0.33% to trade at 0.9533.

Markets were also still jittery after South Korea deployed an anti-missile system in response to North Korea’s sixth and largest ever nuclear test last weekend.

Elsewhere, GBP/USD advanced 0.37% to trade at 1.3091, the highest level since August 4.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars were stronger, with AUD/USD up 0.40% at 0.8034 and with NZD/USD gaining 0.31% to 0.7222.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD slid 0.53% to 1.2161, just off a fresh 27-month trough of 1.2138 hit earlier in the session.

Statistics Canada reported on Thursday that building permits dropped 3.5% in July, compared to expectations for a 1.5% decline.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.56% at 91.69 by 10:50 a.m. ET (14:50 GMT), the lowest since January 2015.

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