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US Economic Resilience Boosts Dollar: Unemployment Claims Surprise Markets

US Economic Resilience Boosts Dollar: Unemployment Claims Surprise Markets

US unemployment claims and PMI data bolster the dollar, impacting global markets as Fed rate cut expectations shift.

In a significant development, US initial unemployment claims fell below expectations, coming in at 215,000 against a forecast of 220,000. This figure is also lower than the four-week average of 217,000, indicating continued resilience in the labor market despite the Federal Reserve’s higher interest rates. If this trend persists, the labor market remains robust, defying concerns about an economic slowdown.

Concurrently, S&P Global’s flash Composite PMI report for May revealed that output grew faster in two years, reaching a 25-month high of 54.4. The services sector drove this growth, accelerating business activity to a 12-month high of 54.8. The manufacturing sector also showed a modest uptick, with the PMI rising to 50.9, a two-month high. These figures indicate a potential boost in economic activity for Q2, contrasting the tepid GDP growth in Q1.

Market Reactions

The strong economic data had an immediate impact on the financial markets. The dollar index (DXY) reversed its decline, surging from around 104.65 to an overnight high of 105.12. This reaction suggests that traders are reassessing the timeline for potential rate cuts by the Federal Reserve, with the robust data potentially delaying any easing of monetary policy.

Asia Session Implications

As Asian markets digest the latest US macroeconomic data, the DXY remained above the 105 threshold and is poised to continue its upward trajectory. The index is up 0.6% for the week, marking its most significant weekly gain in seven weeks.

Upcoming Economic Events

Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller’s Speech: Waller will speak at the Reykjavík Economic Conference at 1:35 pm GMT. His remarks, especially if they align with the recent hawkish tone from other FOMC members, could provide a short-term boost to the dollar.

University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment: The final May report, due at 2:00 pm GMT, is expected to confirm a slight dip in consumer sentiment. The report will reflect consumer concerns about inflation, unemployment, and interest rates. Inflation expectations have risen from 3.2% to 3.5% year-on-year, which could influence the dollar’s demand.

US Economic Resilience Boosts Dollar: Unemployment Claims Surprise Markets

Detailed Market Analysis

DXY: The dollar index will remain bullish, particularly if Waller’s speech reinforces the Fed’s hawkish stance.

Gold (XAU): Gold prices are likely to face higher volatility. A strong dollar could exert bearish pressure on gold, with key events like Waller’s speech and the UoM report acting as catalysts.

Australian Dollar (AUD): The AUD/USD pair fell sharply from 0.6650 to below 0.6600. It opened the Asian session at 0.6595. Support is at 0.6560, and resistance is at 0.6650, with a medium bearish bias due to the strong USD.

New Zealand Dollar (NZD): The NZD/USD pair held up relatively well, opening at 0.6090. Support is at 0.6085, and resistance is at 0.6140. The bias remains weak and bearish.

Japanese Yen (JPY): The USD/JPY pair surged past 157, opening the Asian session at 157.10. Support is at 156.60, and resistance is at 158.00, with a medium bullish bias.

Euro (EUR): Germany’s final Q1 GDP reading, expected to grow by 0.2% QoQ, could influence the EUR/USD pair. A stronger-than-expected GDP could provide a short-term boost. The pair has a medium bearish bias.

Swiss Franc (CHF): SNB Chairman Thomas Jordan’s speech at 7:54 am GMT could impact the CHF. Dovish remarks may pressure the franc, lifting USD/CHF. The bias is medium bullish.

British Pound (GBP): UK retail sales data for April, expected to decline by 0.5% Month over Month, could influence the GBP/USD pair. A larger-than-expected decline could trigger selling pressure. The pair has a medium bearish bias.

Canadian Dollar (CAD): Canada’s March retail sales, expected to decline for the third consecutive month, could pressure the CAD. The USD/CAD pair has a medium bullish bias.

Oil: WTI prices tumbled from above $79 to below $77 per barrel due to concerns over demand amid high inflation and interest rates. Prices stabilized around $77 but are set for their worst loss in four weeks, with a weak bullish bias for the next 24 hours.

Conclusion

The recent US economic data highlights a resilient economy, supporting a stronger dollar and impacting global currency and commodity markets. As the day progresses, market participants will closely watch key events and data releases for further indications of economic trends and monetary policy directions.

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