The dollar remained mixed Thursday, surging to a fresh 6-year peak versus the yen but coming under heavy pressure against the sterling.
The sterling was the day’s strongest currency amid indications that Scottish voters will vote to stay with the United Kingdom. The latest Ipsos MORI survey reveals the public split 53% to 47% against independence as Scots arrive at polling places.
Traders continued to assess yesterday’s pronouncements by the Federal Reserve, with the central bank vowing once again to keep interest rates at zero for a “considerable time.”
Still, there were some hints that once the Fed finally tightens, rates will rise at a faster pace than markets have come to expect.
The dollar rose to near Y109 versus the yen, its highest level since August 2008.
Choppy dealing left the dollar at $1.2915 against the euro, about a penny from a recent 14-month high near $1.28.
On the other hand, the buck slipped $1.6364 versus the sterling, moving well away from last week’s 10-month peak near $1.61.
In economic news from the U.S., data from the Labor Department showed initial jobless claims to have tumbled more than expected to 280,000 in the week ended September 13th, falling 36,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 316,000. Economists expected jobless claims to edge down to 305,000 from the 315,000 originally reported for the previous week.
A report from the Commerce Department said that U.S. housing starts declined by a much more than expected 14.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted rate of 956,000 in August, from the revised July estimate of 1.1117 million.
Meanwhile, a report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia indicated continued growth in regional manufacturing activity in September, although the bank said the index of activity in the sector declined to 22.5, from a three-year high of 28.0 in August.