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Weekly jobless claims dropped to 388K. Early expectations stood on 396K. The situation continues improving very gradually.

Last week’s figure was revised to the downside, from 396K to 393K. Revisions are usually to the upside with this figure, so this is definitely good news. The four week moving average is ticking down.

The pace of US building permits in October reached 0.65 million, exceeding early expectations of 0.60 million. Housing starts also exceeded expectations, rising to 0.63 million, instead of 0.61 that were predicted. Last month’s number was revised to the downside: 0.63 million instead of 0.66.

The US dollar is ticking down following these good numbers, on a “risk on” trade. This is very limited, and the European headlines continue dominating the scene.

The horrible Spanish bond auction weighed heavily on the euro, and so do other worrying signs of a credit crunch.

An important figure is released at 15:00 GMT: the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index. This is a figure for the month of November – very fresh. See how to trade the Philly Index with USD/JPY.