U.S. Dollar Surges as Jobless Claims Drop

FILE PHOTO: U.S. dollar banknotes are seen in this illustration taken March 10, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

The U.S. dollar gained in late trading on Thursday, as data showed that applications for unemployment benefits fell again last week.

The number of Americans applying for jobless benefits fell last week by 10,000 to 230,000 for the week ending Aug. 19, the U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday.

The U.S. dollar surged after the release of the data. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, was up 0.55 percent to 103.9863 in late trading.

Earlier comments from former St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard confirmed that reacceleration could put upward pressure on inflation, thus making it impossible for the Fed to start cutting rates anytime soon.

In addition, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index released on Thursday rose to 0.12 in July from -0.33 in June. A reading above zero suggests economic activity grew ahead of its average historical trend.

Meanwhile, the Jackson Hole Symposium was underway, and investors eagerly awaited the first speeches from leading central bankers of the world’s most developed countries, especially Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s speech scheduled for Friday morning.

In late New York trading, the euro decreased to 1.0809 U.S. dollars from 1.0858 dollars in the previous session, and the British pound fell to 1.2607 U.S. dollars from 1.2716 dollars.

The U.S. dollar bought 145.8610 Japanese yen, higher than 144.7830 Japanese yen of the previous session. The U.S. dollar increased to 0.8845 Swiss francs from 0.8778 Swiss francs, and it increased to 1.3575 Canadian dollars from 1.3542 Canadian dollars. The U.S. dollar rose to 10.9889 Swedish krona from 10.9193 Swedish krona.