Daily Afternoon Report 30/04/2015
The dollar eased off a two-month low against a basket of other major currencies today, after data showed that U.S. jobless claims fell to a 15-year low last week, although the Federal Reserve’s latest policy statement continued to weigh on the greenback.
In a report, the U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending April 25 fell by 34,000 to 262,000 from the previous week s total of 296,000.
The dollar had come under pressure after the Fed on Wednesday cited weakness in the U.S. economy and said it will take into account labor market conditions, inflationary pressures and expectations of international financial developments to decide on the timing of a rate increase. The statement came after data showed that the U.S. gross domestic product grew just 0.2% in the three months to March, slowing from 2.2% in the final quarter of 2014. It was the slowest rate of growth in a year.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.26% to 95.06, up from the session’s two-month low of 94.48.
Elsewhere, Euro found support after official data showed that the euro zone’s consumer price inflation was flat this month, compared to expectations for a decline of 0.1% and following a drop of 0.1% in March. The rate has now been below 1% for 18 straight months, well under the European Central Bank’s target of near but just under 2%.
Core CPI, which excludes food, energy, alcohol, and tobacco costs rose 0.6% in April, in line with forecasts and unchanged from March. A separate report showed that the bloc’s unemployment rate held steady at 11.3% last month, the lowest level since June 2012.
Also, the KOF Economic Research Agency earlier reported that its index of leading indicators for Switzerland fell to a one-year low of 89.5 this month from 90.9 in March, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated reading of 90.8. Analysts had expected the index to rise to 91.5 in April.
The kiwi came under pressure after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand held its benchmark interest rate at 3.50% but said it could lower borrowing costs in the future.