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Forex News: Dollar Dipping Ahead Of Jobs Report

Dollar Dipping Ahead Of Jobs Report

05/03/2018 - 13:42:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The dollar is trading slightly lower against all of its major rivals Thursday afternoon. Traders are digesting a large number of U.S. economic reports from the morning, the results of which proved mixed. Investors are also looking forward to the release of the U.S. jobs report for April tomorrow morning.

With exports climbing and imports falling, the Commerce Department released a report on Thursday showing a significantly narrower U.S. trade deficit in the month of March.

The Commerce Department said the trade deficit narrowed to $49.0 billion in March from a revised $57.7 billion in February.

Economists had expected the trade deficit to narrow to $50.0 billion from the $57.6 billion originally reported for the previous month.

A day ahead of the release of the more closely watched monthly jobs report, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing a modest increase in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended April 28th.

The report said initial jobless claims inched up to 211,000, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 209,000. Economists had jobless claims to climb to 225,000.

Labor productivity in the U.S. rose by less than expected in the first quarter, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday.

The report said labor productivity climbed by 0.7 percent in the first quarter after rising by 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter. Economists had expected productivity to increase by 0.9 percent.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department said unit labor costs surged up by 2.7 percent in the first quarter following a 2.1 percent jump in the fourth quarter. Costs had been expected to spike by 2.9 percent.

Partly reflecting a slowdown in the pace of job growth in the service sector, the Institute for Supply Management released a report on Thursday showing a bigger than expected decrease by its index of activity in the sector.

The ISM said its non-manufacturing index fell to 56.8 in April from 58.8 in March. While a reading above 50 still indicates growth in the service sector, economists had expected the index to show a more modest decrease to 58.1.

A report released by the Commerce Department on Thursday showed a bigger than expected increase in new orders for U.S. manufactured goods in the month of March. The report said factory orders surged up by 1.6 percent in March, matching the upwardly revised jump seen in February.

Economists had expected factory orders to shoot up by 1.4 percent compared to the 1.2 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

Euro area is set to log strong growth this year, but the momentum may moderate slightly as monetary stimulus is gradually withdrawn and global trade growth eases somewhat, the European Commission said.

In the Spring forecast released Thursday, the executive arm of the European Union predicted gross domestic product growth in the currency bloc to be 2.3 percent this year, before easing to 2 percent next year.

While these are the same growth rates as projected in the Winter interim forecast, the growth drivers behind them have changed somewhat and the balance of risks has shifted meaningfully to the downside, the EU said.

Domestic upside risks have faded and downside risks to the global outlook have increased significantly in both the short and the medium term. The dollar has eased back to around $1.1980 Thursday afternoon, from a high of $1.1947.

Eurozone inflation eased slightly in April on slower increase in services cost, Eurostat reported Thursday. Inflation eased to 1.2 percent in April from 1.3 percent in March. The rate was expected to remain unchanged at 1.3 percent.

The buck rose to a 3 1/2 month high of $1.3536 against the pound sterling Thursday, but has since retreated to around $1.3575.

The UK service sector rebounded in April following the snow disruptions seen in March, but the latest upturn was one of the weakest since late 2016, survey data from IHS Markit showed Thursday.

The IHS Markit/Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply services Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 52.8 in April from a 20-month low of 51.7 in March. Nonetheless, the reading was below the forecast of 53.5.

The greenback dropped to a low of Y108.922 against the Japanese Yen Thursday, but has since rebounded to around Y109.190.

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