Daily Afternoon Report 28.05.2015

The dollar turned higher a basket of other major currencies in quiet trade on Thursday, even as data showed that U.S. jobless claims rose to a four-week peak last week, as investors still awaited the release of a report on the U.S. pending home sales later in the day.
USD/JPY was up 0.39% to 124.11, the most since June 2002.
In a report, the U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending May 23 rose by 7,000 to 282,000 from the previous week’s total of 275,000.
Analysts had expected initial jobless claims to fall by 5,000 to 270,000 last week.
Demand for the dollar continued to be underpinned as economic data released in the past week, including reports on inflation, new home sales, business investment, and consumer confidence all indicated that the U.S. economy is gaining momentum after a slowdown in the first quarter.
Expectations that the economy will rebound from the first quarter have supported the view that the Federal Reserve will begin to hike interest rates around September.
EUR/USD was little changed at 1.0910, after rising to highs of 1.0950 earlier in the day.
The euro had gained ground after the Greek government said Wednesday it had started drafting an agreement with its international creditors, signaling progress in long-running negotiations to unlock more financial aid.
However, European officials subsequently played down suggestions of a deal, saying negotiators still had several issues to address before an agreement could be reached.
In its latest financial stability review published on Thursday, the European Central Bank warned that default risk expectations have “increased sharply in Greece” amid heightened political uncertainty.
The pound was lower, with GBP/USD down 0.42% to 1.5293, while the Swiss franc held steady, with USD/CHF at 0.9499.
Sterling weakened after the U.K. Office for National Statistics’ second estimate of the gross domestic product confirmed growth of 0.3% % in the first quarter, unchanged from the initial estimate and below expectations for a reading of 0.4%.
On a year-over-year basis, GDP expanded 2.4%, also in line with the first estimate.
The commodity-linked currencies pushed lower, with AUD/USD down 1.30% to 0.7634 and with NZD/USD tumbling 1.64% to trade at 0.7157.
USD/CAD rose 0.30% to fresh six-week highs of 1.2489.

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