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Forex News: Dollar Mixed Despite Some Positive Economic News

Dollar Mixed Despite Some Positive Economic News

10/19/2017 - 15:03:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The dollar is turning in a mixed performance Thursday afternoon. The buck is rising against the British pound after a drop in UK retail sales, but is losing ground against both the Euro and the Japanese Yen.

U.S. economic data was largely positive this morning. Weekly jobless claims fell by more than expected and the Philly Fed index logged an unexpected increase. However, the leading economic index decreased for the first time this year.

A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits fell by much more than anticipated in the week ended October 14th, with claims sliding to their lowest level in over forty years.

The report said initial jobless claims dropped to 222,000, a decrease of 22,000 from the previous week's revised level of 244,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to edge down to 240,000 from the 243,000 originally reported for the previous week.

Philadelphia-area manufacturing activity unexpectedly grew at a faster rate in the month of October, according to a report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia on Thursday. The Philly Fed said its index for current manufacturing activity in the region climbed to 27.9 in October from 23.8 in September, with a positive reading indicating growth.

The increase by the Philly Fed index came as a surprise to economists, who had expected the index to drop to 22.0.

For the first time in the last twelve months, the Conference Board released a report on Thursday showing an unexpected drop by its index of leading U.S. economic indicators in the month of September. The Conference Board said its leading economic index dipped by 0.2 percent in September after climbing by 0.4 percent in August. Economists had expected the index to inch up by 0.1 percent.

Concerns over Catalonia were thrust back to the forefront after the Spanish government said it would continue with the procedures set out in Article 155 of the Constitution to restore the legality of self-rule in the region.

Spain's prime minister will convene a special Cabinet meeting Saturday to trigger process to take control of Catalonia's powers.

The dollar fell to a low of $1.1857 against the Euro Thursday morning, its lowest level since the start of the trading week, but has since bounced back to around $1.1830.

The buck has climbed to around $1.3150 against the pound sterling Thursday afternoon, from an early low of $1.3227.

UK retail sales declined the most in six months in September as high inflation squeezed household spending amid subdued wage growth. Retail sales including auto fuel dropped 0.8 percent month-on-month in September, reversing a 0.9 percent rise in August, figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed Thursday.

This was the first fall in four months and the biggest since March. Sales were forecast to drop marginally by 0.2 percent.

The greenback dropped to an early low of Y112.288 against the Japanese Yen Thursday, but has since rebounded to around Y112.650.

Japan posted a merchandise trade surplus of 670.17 billion yen in September, the Ministry of Finance said on Thursday. That beat forecasts for a surplus of 556.8 billion yen following the downwardly revised 112.6 billion yen surplus in August.

Japan's all industry activity recovered in August, data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed Thursday. The all industry activity index edged up 0.1 percent month-on-month in August, offsetting a 0.1 percent fall in July. However, the pace of growth was weaker than the expected 0.2 percent.

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