The dollar is currently gaining ground against all of its major competitors on Thursday, after investors were flooded with U.S. economic reports. Retail sales data came in stronger than expected, but jobless claims rose more than anticipated. Investors are also eagerly awaiting next week’s Federal Reserve meeting for clues to when the central bank will begin tapering its stimulus measures.
Suggesting that the holiday shopping season began on an upbeat note, the Commerce Department released a report on Thursday showing that U.S. retail sales rose by slightly more than expected in the month of November.
The report said retail sales rose by 0.7 percent in November following an upwardly revised increase of 0.6 percent in October. Economists had expected sales to increase by about 0.6 percent compared to the 0.4 percent growth originally reported for the previous month.
After reporting a notable drop in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the previous week, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing that initial jobless claims rebounded by much more than anticipated in the week ended December 7th.
The report said initial jobless claims jumped to 368,000, an increase of 68,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 300,000. Economists had been expecting claims to climb to 325,000 from the 298,000 originally reported for the previous week.
Import prices in the U.S. fell for the second consecutive month in November, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday, with the decrease reflecting another sharp drop in prices for fuel imports.
The Labor Department said its import price index dropped by 0.6 percent in November, matching the revised decrease reported for October. Economists had expected import prices to fall by 0.8 percent.
Meanwhile, the report said export prices unexpectedly edged up by 0.1 percent in November after falling by 0.6 percent in the previous month. Export prices had been expected to fall by 0.3 percent.
Business inventories in the U.S. rose by much more than expected in the month of October, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Thursday. The report said business inventories rose by 0.7 percent in October following a 0.6 percent increase in September. Economists had been expecting inventories to increase by a more modest 0.3 percent.
The dollar dipped to an early low of $1.3802 against the Euro on Thursday, but has since climbed to around $1.3750.
Industrial production in the euro area decreased at a notably faster pace in October, defying expectations for a modest increase, with all the major industrial sectors recording decline in activity, latest data revealed Thursday.
Industrial production fell a seasonally adjusted 1.1 percent month-on-month in October, after dropping an upwardly revised 0.2 percent in the previous month, statistical office Eurostat said. Economists had forecast production to grow 0.3 percent, following September’s originally reported 0.5 percent contraction.
France’s EU harmonized inflation accelerated modestly in November, and matched economists’ expectations, latest data revealed Thursday. The harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP) moved up 0.8 percent in November from a year earlier, which was faster than October’s 0.7 percent gain, statistical office Insee said. Economists had forecast a 0.8 percent gain for November.
The greenback also fell to an early low of $1.6417 against the pound sterling Thursday, but has since bounced back to a 3-session high of $1.6320.
A leading indicator of the British economy increased for the fourth successive month in October, but at a weaker rate than in the previous month, pointing to moderate economic growth in early 2014, according to a survey conducted by the Conference Board. The leading economic index advanced 0.4 percent month-on-month to 108.4 in October, marking the fourth successive sequential increase.
The buck has rebounded from yesterday’s 3-day low of Y102.146 against the Japanese Yen, to around Y103.100 on Thursday.