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US unemployment claims now stand at 361K. Early predictions stood on 371K. Also the trade balance exceeded expectations: a deficit of only $42.9 billion. Both results are positive for the US economy: a lower deficit means a larger GDP.

USD/JPY was trading under 78.50 and EUR/USD drifted lower to around 1.23 prior to the release. The dollar is now making small gains against both currencies.

According to the initial report for last week, claims stood on 365K. This was now revised to 367K.  US trade balance was expected to show a deficit of $47.4 billion in June, better than the deficit of $48.7 billion in May.

The improvement seen throughout July was partially attributed to changes in automobile plants: they usually take vacations during these weeks, and this summer was slightly better.

While this unlikely points to a fundamental improvement in the economy, the improvement in jobless claims was also reflected in a positive Non-Farm Paryolls report.

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