The dollar fell on Thursday to its weakest against a basket of major currencies since the European Central Bank announced a program of quantitative easing in January, hit by growing concern that the U.S. economy has not just been suffering from a winter chill.
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, indicating the jobs market was on solid footing even as the economy struggles to regain momentum after abruptly slowing in the first quarter.
The number of firings remains low according to initial claims data through May 9. Claims for benefits fell by 1,000 to 264,000, pushing the more reliable four-week moving average to 271,750 and to its lowest level since April 2000.
The U.S. Comex gold futures dropped $11 in the past two days and ended at $1,182.20 on Thursday. While the gold futures were up 0.66% for the week, the S&P 500 Index dropped 0.89%, the Euro Stoxx 50 Index fell 1.20%, and the U.S. Dollar Index declined 0.69%.
WTI crude continues to hover at or around $60 per barrel as the market waited for the U.S. jobs data. Overnight China released her import export data that seems to confirm slowing in the world’s second largest economy.
Following a weak first quarter dogged by a west coast port strike and a severe winter, the economy appears to be improving. On the one hand the latest report offered a substantial negative revision to March payrolls, on the other it was the only month this year to deliver a sub-200,000 payroll reading