On Thursday morning, the US Labour Department posted last week ending March 18’s weekly jobless claims, reporting an unexpected rise to a new record high of 258,000, the highest level since the last week of January. The data published was higher than what most forecasts indicated which was at 240,000 to 243,000.
The latest jobless claims increased by 15,000 during the week, hitting its highest record in two months. Although analysts expected first-time jobless claims for the week to drop to at least 1,000, a reading below 300,000 still indicates a firming labour market for a nation.
Meanwhile, the continuing jobless claims during the week that ended March 11 fell to 2 million from the previous record of 2.039 million the past week, initially revised from 2.030 million. For the four-week average of jobless claims, data showed an increase to 240,000 from 239,000 the previous week.
Although the data posted unexpected increase, it still exhibits that fewer Americans are now losing jobs. During the last weeks of February, applications for jobless claims declined to 210,000, which was the America’s lowest since 1969.
According to several companies, searching for more qualified applicants becomes harder, resulting in fewer chances to lay off employees.
With the tightening status of the labour market, the Federal Reserve was able to raise interest rates last week. Should the market condition remain or will not see significant movement, it is likely that the Fed will not raise rate by May.
In the forex market, USD/JPY fell 0.23% at 110.90, close to the pair’s four-month low on Wednesday, while USD/CHF pair was at 0.9932, up by 0.19%. EUR/USD declined 0.16% to 1.0779, falling from its six-week high, while the GBP/USD pair was up by 0.12% to 1.2499 after UK’s retail sales climbed by 1.4% in February. The US Dollar Index (DXY) traded at 99.69, or 0.03% lower against the basket of other currencies.
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