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US Jobless Claims Remain on High Ground – No Longer

US unemployment claims are at 386K, significantly above expectations for a second week in a row.

The dollar falls against the yen but strengthens against the euro. Are we back to the crisis mode of risk aversion / risk appetite?

They were expected to fall to around 367K.  Last week’s initial report showed 380K, above the usual range and was now revised to 388K.

For quite a long time, the weekly figure was around 360K, hardly changing for many weeks. Some analysts see 400K as the upper limit: beyond this line, the unemployment rate may continue rising. The moving average rose to  374,750, the highest since the end of January.

Together with the NFP, this doesn’t look good. Non-Farm Payrolls rose by only 120K in March, while the unemployment rate fell to 8.2%. The mixed figures and the initial jump in claims could be dismissed as a one time event.

But with a second week in a row of higher claims, the notion of a slower US economy gains ground.

Later today, at 14:00 GMT, there are too important releases: US existing home sales, and the forward looking Philly Fed Manufacturing Index. Housing and employment are the weak spots, while manufacturing and services are doing better.

EUR/USD is still vulnerable due to the debt crisis, and especially the mediocre Spanish auction seen earlier. Yields continue rising, together with the spread between Spanish and German yields. The pair is currently at 11.3075, above uptrend support but at the bottom of the range that characterized it recently.

For more, see the euro to dollar forecast.

Yohay Elam

Yohay Elam

Yohay Elam: Founder, Writer and Editor I have been into forex trading for over 5 years, and I share the experience that I have and the knowledge that I've accumulated. After taking a short course about forex. Like many forex traders, I've earned a significant share of my knowledge the hard way. Macroeconomics, the impact of news on the ever-moving currency markets and trading psychology have always fascinated me. Before founding Forex Crunch, I've worked as a programmer in various hi-tech companies. I have a B. Sc. in Computer Science from Ben Gurion University. Given this background, forex software has a relatively bigger share in the posts.