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Dollar dips as jobless claims increase

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By Karen Brettell

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The dollar fell on Thursday after data showed that U.S. jobless claims rose more than expected in the latest week, though the market was generally viewed as consolidating ahead of key inflation data and the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision next week.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits surged to the highest level in more than 1-1/2 years last week with a 28,000-claim jump to a seasonally adjusted 261,000. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 235,000 claims for the latest week.

“Claims (were) a bit higher than expected,” said Marc Chandler, chief market strategist at Bannockburn Global Forex in New York, but “we’re still in a consolidation mode … right now we’re just trapped.”

The greenback has been bolstered by expectations that the Fed will hike rates in July, though it is widely expected to pause hikes at the conclusion of its June 13-14 meeting.

But worsening economic data may also limit how many further rate increases the U.S. central bank is able to achieve even if inflation pressures remain high.

“There is a small window of opportunity for the Fed to raise rates again, whether it’s June or July, and the market now favors July … the market doesn’t think there’s anything more to be done because the economy looks set to weaken,” said Chandler.

The euro was last up 0.75% against the dollar at $1.0779. The single currency gained despite data showing that the euro zone economy was in a technical recession in the first three months of 2023. It got as high as $1.07870, the highest since May 24.

The greenback fell 0.87% to 138.94 yen.

The dollar index, which measures the currency against six major peers, was down 0.67% to 103.33 and got as low as 103.29, the lowest since May 23.

The Canadian loonie was slightly stronger after the Bank of Canada surprised traders on Wednesday by raising interest rates to 4.75%, a 22-year high. The greenback was last down 0.09% at C$1.3358.

The Australian dollar also gained after the Reserve Bank of Australia on Tuesday raised the cash rate to an 11-year high of 4.1%. It was up 0.91% at $0.6714.

The European Central Bank is expected to raise rates by 25 basis points (bps) when it meets next Thursday, to be followed by another 25-bps increase in July, taking rates to 3.75%.

The dollar tumbled 1.20% against the Swiss franc to 0.899, the lowest since May 23.

Swiss National Bank Chairman Thomas Jordan repeated his commitment to fight “stubborn” inflation on Thursday in his final public appearance before the central bank announces its next interest rate decision.

The greenback also dropped 1.45% against the Norwegian krone to 10.89, the lowest since May 22.

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Currency bid prices at 3:00PM (1900 GMT)

Description RIC Last U.S. Close Pct Change YTD Pct High Bid Low Bid

Previous Change

Session

Dollar index 103.3300 104.0400 -0.67% -0.155% +104.0700 +103.2900

Euro/Dollar $1.0779 $1.0699 +0.75% +0.60% +$1.0787 +$1.0698

Dollar/Yen 138.9350 140.1600 -0.87% +5.97% +140.2250 +138.8150

Euro/Yen 149.75 149.93 -0.12% +6.74% +150.0400 +149.6000

Dollar/Swiss 0.8992 0.9102 -1.20% -2.75% +0.9107 +0.8992

Sterling/Dollar $1.2555 $1.2439 +0.94% +3.83% +$1.2558 +$1.2438

Dollar/Canadian 1.3358 1.3371 -0.09% -1.41% +1.3388 +1.3334

Aussie/Dollar $0.6714 $0.6653 +0.91% -1.51% +$0.6718 +$0.6652

Euro/Swiss 0.9693 0.9736 -0.44% -2.04% +0.9761 +0.9692

Euro/Sterling 0.8583 0.8599 -0.19% -2.95% +0.8613 +0.8585

NZ $0.6095 $0.6037 +0.95% -4.02% +$0.6099 +$0.6033

Dollar/Dollar

Dollar/Norway 10.8940 11.0490 -1.45% +10.95% +11.0530 +10.8890

Euro/Norway 11.7444 11.7972 -0.45% +11.92% +11.8355 +11.7295

Dollar/Sweden 10.8007 10.8872 -0.14% +3.78% +10.9009 +10.7900

Euro/Sweden 11.6380 11.6545 -0.14% +4.38% +11.6860 +11.6281

(Additional reporting by Harry Robertson in London; Editing by Mark Potter and Jonathan Oatis)

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