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Forex News: U.S. Dollar At Multi-month Lows Against Yen After

U.S. Dollar At Multi-month Lows Against Yen After Weekly Jobless Claims

03/23/2017 - 09:53:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The U.S. dollar traded at multi-month lows against the Japanese yen in the European session on Thursday, as first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly increased in the week ended March 18 and investors focused on a healthcare vote in the U.S. House of Representatives due tonight.

Data from the Labor Department showed that initial jobless claims climbed to 258,000, an increase of 15,000 from the previous week's revised level of 243,000.

The increase surprised economists, who had expected jobless claims to edge down to 240,000 from the 241,000 originally reported for the previous week.

Although Republican leaders have been working furiously to try to build support for the bill known as the American Health Care Act, the latest reports suggest that House Republicans may not have the votes to pass the plan.

If the healthcare bill fails, it could imperil Trump's other policies such as tax reform and increased infrastructure spending.

The Fed Chair Janet Yellen gave no hints on the economy and monetary policy in her speech at Washington and instead addressed problems of childhood poverty and its connection with financial problems later in life.

Traders await new home sales data for February at 10 am ET, with economists expecting the rate to rise to 565,000.

The greenback showed mixed trading in the Asian session. While the currency held steady against the euro and the pound, it rose against the franc and the yen.

The greenback declined to 110.63 against the yen, a level unseen since November 2016. Continuation of the greenback's downtrend may see it challenging support around the 109.00 region.

The greenback pared gains to 0.9918 against the Swiss franc, from a high of 0.9942 hit at 5:15 am ET. If the greenback-franc pair extends decline, it may challenge support around the 0.97 mark.

The greenback was trading at 1.0785 against the euro, down from a 2-day high of 1.0768 hit at 6:30 am ET. The next downside target for the greenback is seen around the 1.09 level.

Data from the European Central Bank showed that euro area economic recovery is steadily firming and the trend is likely to continue to firm and broaden going ahead.

"The economic recovery in the euro area is steadily firming," the central bank said in its latest Economic Bulletin.

The greenback held steady against the pound with the pair trading at 1.2509, following nearly 4-week low of 1.2527 hit early in the European session. The pair was valued at 1.2483 when it closed Wednesday's trading.

Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that the UK retail sales increased for the first time in four months in February.

The retail sales volume grew 1.4 percent month-on-month in February, reversing a 0.5 percent fall in January and bigger than the 0.4 percent expected increase.

Looking ahead, at 12:30 pm ET, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari is expected to speak about the US education outcomes and achievement gaps at the Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference, in Washington DC.

At 1:00 pm ET, Swiss National Bank Governing Board Member Andrea Maechler will deliver a speech titled "The SNB Investment Policy and its Peculiarities" at the Money Market Event, in Zurich.

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