As Thursday’s session progressed, the Euro to US Dollar (EUR/USD) exchange rate weakened as concerns over Greece increased and as economic data out of the US showed that the number of Americans filing for initial unemployment benefits fell more-than-forecast last week.
The Euro to US Dollar (EUR/USD) Exchange Rate Fell To a Session Low Of 1.1236
Earlier in the session, the Euro had been holding onto a two-month high against the US Dollar despite the release of softer-than-forecast data releases out of France and Germany.
The previous weakness of the US currency was the most likely cause for the higher standing. However, as the session progressed the Euro weakened as data showed that the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell last week to bring the average over the past month to the lowest level in 15 years.
According to the Washington based Labour Department, the number of claimants rose by 3,000 to 265,000 in the week ending on May 2. Economists had been forecasting a rise to 278,000. The four-week average meanwhile, which is regarded as a less volatile measure fell to 279,500, the lowest level seen since May 2000. The lower-than-forecast figure suggests that the US jobs sector is continuing to perform strongly and bodes well for Friday’s eagerly anticipated Non-Farm Payrolls report.
‘Claims at these types of levels would be consistent with a strong payroll number. Jobless claims are the timeliest indicator of labour-market conditions, so on the margin things look pretty good,’ said Ray Stone, an economist at Stone & McCarthy.
The claims report showed the number of people still receiving benefits after an initial week of aid declined by 28,000 to 2.23 million in the week ending on April 25. The figure was the lowest reading since November 2000 and suggested more long-term unemployed are getting jobs.
The Euro could weaken further against the US Dollar on Friday if the latest Non-Farm Payrolls report comes in positively. A strong report will ease concerns that the world’s largest economy weakened in the first quarter of the year.
Greece Defiance Softens Euro Exchange Rate
The Euro was also weakened after Greece defied its international creditors by sticking to red lines on pension and labour market reforms. The news dimmed investor optimism that progress towards a deal will be reached.
‘There should not be an expectation on the part of institutions…that the government will back down on everything. When you negotiate, there should be mutual concessions. We will not go beyond the limits of our red lines. It’s clear that we cannot cut pensions,’ said Greek government spokesperson Gabriel Sakellaridis.
The Euro to Canadian Dollar (EUR/CAD) Exchange Rate Rose To A Session High Of 1.3768
The Euro made gains against Canadian Dollar as crude oil prices eased and despite Canadian data showing that building permits issued rose to the highest level in six months in March.
The value of permits issued for the month jumped 11.6% to $6.87-billion, handily topping economists’ forecasts for a gain of 2.5 %.