© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: South Korean won, Chinese yuan, and Japanese yen notes are seen on US 100 dollar notes in this illustration in Seoul, South Korea, Dec. 15, 2015. REUTERS / Kim Hong-Ji
By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The dollar surged against a basket of currencies in choppy trading Thursday as the euro fell as risk appetite eased again with volatile stocks and investors buying US Treasuries.
At the start of the session, the greenback slid on weaker-than-expected US jobless claims that raised concerns about the world's largest economy recovering from the pandemic.
The euro, on the other hand, was firmer earlier in the day after the European Central Bank met expectations by promising to keep rates at record lows for longer.
ECB President Christine Lagarde said nothing in her media briefing that would change the market's cautious outlook on the eurozone. She said a new wave of the coronavirus pandemic could pose a risk to the region's recovery, despite offering a more balanced economic outlook.
“The euro / dollar's 30-point rise during Christine Lagarde's press conference seemed appropriate given some of the low-key narratives pouring into the meeting, but the market has now given up on that move and is trading back to where it started this morning. "Said Erik Bregar, Head of FX Strategy at Exchange Bank of Canada in Toronto.
The ECB's reluctant pivot – following its recently released strategy review – at a time when many competitors are considering possible pandemic-era incentives is likely to keep the European single currency under pressure.
In early afternoon trading, the euro lost 0.2% against the dollar to $ 1.1763. On Wednesday it hit a 3-1 / 2-month low of $ 1.1752.
Meanwhile, it rose 0.1% to 92.87 as the impact of weaker than expected US jobless claims subsided.
The data showed that initial jobless claims rose 51,000 in the week ended July 17 to a seasonally adjusted 419,000, the highest since mid-May. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 350,000 applications for the past week.
"These numbers provide further evidence of the slowdown," said Karl Schamotta, chief marketing strategist at Cambridge Global payments (NYSE 🙂 in Toronto.
"As weekly news continues to be ahead of expectations, this indicates a loss of momentum in the US labor market – something that could push the Federal Reserve's tightening plans further into the future and put further pressure on bond yields," he added added.
Elsewhere, growth-oriented currencies such as the Australian dollar continued to appreciate as risk sold off around the world. The dollar recently rose 0.2% to $ 0.7372.
The gains on higher risk investments were due to robust corporate earnings pushing Wall Street and European stock exchanges higher, allowing investors to overcome concerns that the Delta-Covid-19 variant would dampen economic recovery .
The pound sterling firmed 0.2% to $ 1.3768 and rebounded from 5-1 / 2 month lows, while Bitcoin surged in cryptocurrencies after rising 7.9% on Wednesday – the largest since midway June. It was last up 0.9% to $ 32,448.
The dollar slipped 0.1% against the yen, another safe haven, to 110.14 yen.
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Currency bid prices at 1:10 p.m. (1710 GMT)
Description RIC Last US closing price Pct change YTD Pct High Bid Low Bid
Dollar index 92.8810 92.8030 + 0.09% 3.223% +92.9260 +92.5040
Euro / Dollar $ 1.1762 $ 1.1789 -0.23% -3.73% + $ 1.1831 + $ 1.1758
Dollar / Yen 110.1400 110.2800 -0.13% + 6.60% +110.3550 +110.0200
Euro / Yen 129.54 130.09 -0.42% +2.06% +130.2900 +129.4900
Dollar / Swiss 0.9198 0.9177 + 0.19% + 3.92% +0.9200 +0.9156
Pound sterling / dollar 1.3766 $ 1.3713 + 0.40% + 0.78% +1.3787 $ +1.3691 $
Dollar / Canadian 1.2568 1.2561 + 0.07% -1.29% +1.2594 +1.2530
Aussie / dollar $ 0.7373 $ 0.7360 + 0.20% -4.14% + $ 0.7397 + $ 0.7343
Euro / Switzerland 1.0819 1.0821 -0.02% + 0.11% +1.0840 +1.0814
Euro / sterling 0.8544 0.8600 -0.65% -4.40% +0.8609 +0.8544
New Zealand $ 0.6967 $ 0.6972 -0.09% -2.99% + $ 0.6985 + $ 0.6947
Dollar / dollar
Dollar / Norway 8.8695 8.8785 + 0.08% + 3.48% +8.8915 +8.7790
Euro / Norway 10.4330 10.4700 -0.35% -0.32% +10.5235 +10.3500
Dollar / Sweden 8.6809 8.6876 -0.26% + 5.91% +8.7004 +8.6452 +
Euro / Sweden 10.2123 10.2386 -0.26% +1.35% +10.2538 +10.2130