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A big bulk of US data was just released, and there is one point of light: Unemployment claims dropped to 405K, the lowest in two and a half months. This is helping the dollar to stabilize, but other figures are quite mixed.

After the horrible Non-Farm Payrolls and the rise in the unemployment rate, a drop in weekly jobless claims is good news. They didn’t fall below the round number of 400K, but the drop did exceed expectations of 413K.

Other figures were mixed: retail sales rose by 0.1%. They were expected to drop by the same scale. But, core retail sales remained flat, falling short of expectations for a rise of 0.1%. The changes are marginal.

Producer prices were mixed: PPI dropped by 0.4%, more than 0.2% that was predicted. But core PPI rose by 0.3%, more than 0.2% that was estimated.

USD/JPY is slightly higher, above 79. Also USD/CHF is ticking up, above 0.8160. EUR/USD is slightly lower, also on higher European bond yields. The euro ignores US figures lately. The debt crisis takes the center stage for the common currency.

Later, we have the second part of Ben Bernanke’s testimony. Yesterday, he discussed an exit strategy. But, he also left the door open for QE3. This sent the dollar way down, especially against the yen and the Swiss franc – the safe haven currencies.

Bernanke spoke about the weakness of the job market. As we see some positive job figures, the greenback stabilizes, at least for now.


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