Jobless claims in the USA, which measure the numbers who are continuing to claim unemployment as well as those who are claiming for the first time, actually rose yesterday compared to the last reading. However, as these figures are released every week, market participants are able to take more than one reading into account. This contrasts with the Non-Farm Payrolls figure each month, where the headline number is invariably used to decide the direction in which the US dollar should go, despite the fact that the Federal Reserve is known to concentrate on trends rather than individual data points.
On that basis the jobless claims numbers are quite good. The 4-week moving average showed a decrease from the previous week’s unrevised average. This is the lowest level for this average since April of 2000. That is all of 15 years ago.
The consensus is that the figures yesterday point to a growing labour market stateside.
The US dollar gained a little on the news, but then gave it all up again an hour later when the stats for existing home sales were released. They showed a lower number than previously.
Busy day today
Today, Friday May 22nd is a busy day for news releases that might affect the Forex market. By the time you read this GDP figures for Germany, the locomotive of the Eurozone economy, will have been published.
Later, at 9:00 GMT, the IFO business climate sentiment index will be out, again for Germany.
Consumer Price Index figures for the USA are due at 13:30 GMT. As inflation is the current bugbear of all central banks, these figures will be closely watched.
There are also a number of speeches scheduled by central bank governors. Both Mario Draghi (ECB) and Mark Carney (Bank of England) will speak in Europe, while governor Karuda of the Bank of Japan is on stage in the Land of The Rising Sun.