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Initial jobless claims were dropped to 334K, in the lower part of the recent range. They were expected to slide to 344K from 358K (revised down from 360K) in the previous week. Continuing claims disappointed with a rise to 3.114 million. They were expected to slide from 2.977 to 3.023 million (revised up from 2.959 million). This isn’t so good. The July 4th holiday in the US might have distorted the data.

EUR/USD was sliding lower to 1.3088 towards the release. USD/JPY crossed the 100 line once again, this time to the upside. The dollar is generally higher.  EUR/USD slipped below 1.3080. The rise in continuing claims above 3 million limits the dollar’s gains.

While being a weekly and volatile figure, initial unemployment claims are of higher importance due to the emphasis that the Fed puts on incoming job figures of all sorts.

Ben Bernanke will continue testifying today in Washington. In his prepared statement, he provided nothing new, and in the Q&A he didn’t slip out anything of high importance. He did say that he is “not a qualified financial adviser”.

The assumption of QE tapering in September remains in place.

Further reading:  Falling inflation could push QE tapering towards late 2013