The dollar was mixed Thursday morning in New York as the outlook brightened on Wall Street after tech bellwether Apple smashed quarterly earnings expectations. With stock futures on the rise, risk appetite has picked up, fueling renewed interest in the higher-yielding euro.
With traders will keep an eye on equities, Thursday is also a big day on the economic front, with weekly jobless claims data due out at 8:30 a.m. ET and existing home sales scheduled to be released at 10 a.m. ET.
The dollar slipped versus the euro, falling to 1.3070 from yesterday's monthly high of 1.2884. Overall, the dollar has firmed up of late versus the euro, with traders unsure about the European Central Bank's tepid response to the global recession.
Indicating that the pace of slowdown is easing in Eurozone, the composite, manufacturing and services purchasing managers' indexes, or PMIs rose to six-month highs in April, reports showed Thursday citing data from the Markit Economics.
The flash manufacturing PMI for the euro area rose to a six-month high of 36.7 in April from 33.9 in March, exceeding the expectations for a reading of 34.7. Further, the flash services PMI improved to 43.1 from 40.9 in March, the highest since October. Hence, the composite index jumped to a six-month high of 40.5 in April from 38.3 in March.
This supports our expectation that the euro economy will contract at a slower rate in the spring than at the start of the year, Commerzbank analyst Christoph Weil said. Even so, the analyst said the pressure is still on the European Central Bank to cut rates again.
Risk appetite also caused the dollar to weaken versus the sterling Thursday morning. The buck eased to 1.4570, down nearly 2 cents from yesterday's 3-week high. On a longer term basis, the dollar is little changed from its January 1 level.
Meanwhile, the dollar was able to firm up against the yen, rising to 98.25 from yesterday's 3-week low of 97.56. For the past 2 weeks, the dollar has been trending lower, pulling back from a 3-month high of 101.43, set earlier this month.
The Labor Department is due to release its customary weekly jobless claims report for the week ended April 18th at 8:30 AM ET on Thursday. Economists expect a climb in jobless claims to 630,000 in the week.
The National Association of Realtors is scheduled to release its report on existing home sales for March at 10 AM ET on the same day. Economists estimate existing home sales of 4.65 million for the month.
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