Monday, October 15, 2018

Dollar still on the downside as U.S. data disappoints, ECB holdsDollar still on the downside as U.S. data disappoints, ECB holds – The dollar remained lower against the other major currencies on Thursday, after the release of downbeat U.S. jobless claims data and as the European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged.

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 U.S. 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 0.44% to 1.1975 after the ECB left interest rates unchanged, in a widely expected move, and made no changes to its monetary policy statement.

Market participants were eyeing comments by ECB President Mario Draghi for any indications on when the central bank plans to begin winding down its asset-purchase program.

The safe-haven yen and Swiss franc remained higher, with USD/JPY down 0.35% at 108.84 and with USD/CHF retreating 0.30% to trade at 0.9535.

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 0.40% to trade at 1.3093, the highest level since August 4.

The Australian dollar was stronger, with AUD/USD up 0.25% at 0.8021, while NZD/USD held steady at 0.7204.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD slid 0.46% to trade at 1.2171, re-approaching Wednesday’s 27-month trough of 1.2153 after Statistics Canada said 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 0.40% at 91.83 by 08:35 a.m. ET (12:35 GMT), the lowest since August 29.

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