Daily Afternoon Report 26.05.2016

The dollar remained moderately lower against the other major currencies on Thursday, even after data showed that U.S. jobless claims fell more than expected last week and that U.S. durable goods orders rose more than forecast in April.

USD/JPY was down 0.16% at 109.98.

The U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending May 21 decreased by 10,000 to 268,000 from the previous week’s total of 278,000.

Analysts expected jobless claims to fall by 3,000 to 275,000 last week.

Separately, the U.S. Commerce Department said durable goods orders rose 3.4% last month, compared to economists’ expectations for an increase of 0.5%.

Core durable goods orders, which exclude volatile transportation items, rose 0.4% last month, compared to forecasts for a 0.3% gain.

But investors continued to lock in profits from the greenback’s rally to two-month highs this week amid speculation the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates as soon as next month.

EUR/USD rose 0.20% to 1.1176, pulling away from Tuesday’s two-month lows of 1.1132.

The euro gained ground after Greece and its creditors reached a deal on Wednesday to unlock €10 billion in bailout funds and trigger work on debt relief, easing concerns over another euro zone debt crisis.

The dollar was steady against the pound and the Swiss franc, with GBP/USD at 1.4696 and with USD/CHF at 0.9916.

The U.K. Office of National Statistics said on Thursday that gross domestic product growth slowed to 0.4% in the three months to March, in line with the preliminary estimate, from 0.6% in the previous quarter.

The annual rate of growth was revised down to 2.0% from 2.1% initially.

The Australian dollar edged higher, with AUD/USD up 0.26% at 0.7217, while NZD/USD slipped 0.12% to 0.6732.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said earlier Wednesday that private capital expenditure declined by 5.2% in the first quarter, compared to expectations for a 3.0% drop.

Elsewhere, USD/CAD declined 0.60% to trade at 1.2941, the lowest since May 18.

The commodity currencies found support as Crude Oil moved sharply higher after the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday that crude oil inventories fell by 4.2 million barrels last week.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.18% at 95.23, still close to Wednesday’s two-month highs of 95.66.