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US weekly jobless claims dropped from 363K (360K originally reported) down to 340K. They were expected to slide back to 347K. So, this is a bit better than expected, and result enables the US dollar to tick higher.  

USD/JPY was trading around 101.50 after a crazy crash, and it now trades higher, around 101.70.  EUR/USD traded around 1.29,  recovering  from lows seen earlier, and it now falls below this round level.

Continuing jobless claims dropped to the lowest levels since March 2008: they fell from 3.024 million (up from 3.009 million) to 2.912. This is certainly a positive development.

Last week, the jump in jobless claims hurt the dollar only temporarily. This was very different than the reaction seen two weeks ago: when the drop to a 5 year low triggered the big break seen in USD/JPY above 100.

Jobs, including this figure, make a big difference, as the Fed put an emphasis on jobs for its next policy moves. Ben Bernanke triggered a dollar storm yesterday when he made the slightest hint about possible tapering this year.

However, this also hurt the stock markets. The Nikkei in Tokyo plunged 7.32% and this boosted the Japanese yen. USD/JPY already fell over 200 pips during the day.

Here is more data on continuing claims:

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