US Dollar Falls as Jobless Claims Rise and Retail Sales Disappoint
The number of Americans filing initial applications for unemployment benefits surprisingly increased last week, according to today's report published by the Department of Labor.
Jobless claims rose by 4,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 317,000 claims in the period ending 7 June, whilst the consensus estimate was for a drop to 310,000.
A spokesperson for the department indicated there was nothing unusual in the data, with no states reporting estimates.
The previous week's total was revised marginally higher from the originally-reported result of 312,000.
Since the turn of the year, the average number of claims per week has been 324,000 and the figure is on course to record its strongest year since 1999.
The four-week moving average, considered to be a more reliable indicator of labour market conditions as it strips out the week-to-week volatility, climbed to 315,250, from 310,500 in the previous week.
Retail Sales Miss Expectations
Separately, it was revealed that US retail sales increased by 0.3% in May, missing expectations for a 0.6% rise.
The previous month's result was upwardly-revised to show 0.5% growth, having been originally reported at 0.1%.
This sector of the American economy accounts for around a third of consumer spending.
Core retail sales, which do not include data relating to automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, were flat last month, but April's figure was revised to show a 0.2% rise, rather than the 0.1% drop in the original report.
This aspect is closely monitored as a result of its correlation with the consumer spending element of gross domestic product.
Following the release of the data, the dollar weakened against the majority of its key forex trading peers.
added 0.3% to $1.6838 as of 2:45pm (UK time) and USD/JPY
has fell 0.12% to ¥101.95.
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By Jonathan Sudaria, 12 June 2014