The U.S. dollar trimmed gains against its Canadian counterpart on Thursday but remained supported near fresh 12-1/2 year highs as upbeat U.S. jobless claims data lent support and as the ongoing oil rout continued to weigh on the Canadian currency.
The U.S. Department of Labor reported on Thursday that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending January 8 increased by 7,000 to 284,000 from the previous week’s total of 277,000.
Meanwhile, the commodity-related Canadian dollar remained under pressure as prices for Brent crude, the global benchmark, fell below the $30 per barrel threshold for the first time since 2004, pressured lower by a global supply glut and fears of a slowdown in China.
Markets were also jittery after a series of apparently coordinated gun and bomb attacks were carried out in the heart of the Indonesian capital of Jakarta Thursday morning. At least seven people were killed.
In Canada, data showed that the new housing price index rose 0.2% in November, in line with expectations, and after an uptick of 0.3% the previous month.
Also Thursday, the minutes of the European Central Bank’s December meeting showed that some members of the governing council favored a larger cut to the deposit rate than was eventually announced.
The minutes also said the possibility was raised of expanding monthly asset purchases under the central bank’s quantitative easing program from the current level of €60 billion, or of frontloading asset purchases.