The dollar was on pause versus most majors Thursday morning in New York, as traders looked for more signs of light in today's upcoming jobless claims and GDP data.
After suffering steep losses last week amid a dramatic rebound in equities, the dollar has found its footing over the last few days, despite rhetoric from China expressing a desire to have a global currency replace the greenback as the world's reserve currency.
Its been a busy week in Washington, and Thursday's focus will remain on Capitol Hill, where Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is expected to push for the establishment of a resolution authority that would give the Treasury sweeping powers to shut down or reorganize failing financial institutions that pose a threat to the country's financial system.
The dollar was little changed versus the euro Thursday morning, holding in a very narrow range near 1.3570. The pair has seen choppy trading so far this week, with the dollar stabilizing after falling to a 10-week low of 1.3737.
In Germany, consumer morale is set to show a slight deterioration in April amid a string of negative reports regarding economic development. Further changes in consumer climate over the months ahead remain dependent on labor market situations, according to GfK market research group.
The overall consumer confidence index is forecasting a value of 2.4 points for April, down from a revised 2.5 points reported in March, a survey showed Thursday. Economists were expecting a reading of 2.5 for April.
The dollar was also in a holding pattern versus the sterling, staying near 1.46. Earlier in the week ,the dollar hit a monthly low of 1.4777, but has since been steady amid the release of some disappointing UK economic data.
Thursday, the Office for National Statistics said UK retail sales dropped 1.9% in February from the previous month, while economists were expecting a monthly 0.4% decrease.
Meanwhile, the dollar remained on the offensive versus the yen, but has nevertheless been unable to hit the 100 mark in 2009. The dollar fetched 98.25 in early dealing Thursday, having recouped its losses from the previous week.
Dismal economic data continues to reveal the worst economic conditions in decades for the Japanese. Yesterday, Japan trade balance swung to surplus in February after showing deficits in past four months. However, there was a dark lining on the cloud, as exports plummeted by a record 49.4% on-year, falling for the fifth consecutive month. Imports fell 43% on-year, declining for the fourth straight month.
Here in the US, economists are predicting GDP data will reveal an annualized decline of 6.6 percent. The Labor Department's report on weekly jobless claims will likely influence trading. Economists forecast 651,000 claims.
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