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Dollar Trading Mixed On Weak Economic Data

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The dollar is turning in a mixed performance against its major rivals Thursday afternoon. Investors have continued to flock to safe havens, like gold and the Japanese Yen, in the wake of the rising tensions between North Korea and the United States. The buck is down against the Yen this afternoon, but is up slightly against the Euro and the British pound.

First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly edged higher in the week ended August 5th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday. The report said initial jobless claims crept up to 244,000, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week's revised level of 241,000.

The uptick came as a surprise to economists, who had expected jobless claims to come in unchanged compared to the 240,000 originally reported for the previous week.

Reflecting a drop in prices for services, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing an unexpected decrease in U.S. producer prices in the month of July. The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand edged down by 0.1 percent in July after inching up by 0.1 percent in June. Economists had expected another 0.1 percent uptick.

The dollar rose to an early high of $1.1702 against the Euro Thursday, but has since retreated to around $1.1750.

France's industrial production declined at the fastest pace in four months in June, the statistical office Insee reported Thursday.

Industrial output fell by more-than-expected 1.1 percent month-on-month in June, reversing a 1.9 percent rise in May. This was the biggest contraction since February, when it was down by 1.7 percent. Output was forecast to drop 0.6 percent.

The buck fell to a low of $1.3015 against the pound sterling Thursday, but has since climbed back to around $1.2975.

UK industrial production grew more than expected in June largely due to higher oil and gas output, data from the Office for National Statistics revealed Thursday. Industrial output expanded 0.5 percent on a monthly basis, after staying flat in May. Output was forecast to grow 0.1 percent.

The UK visible trade deficit widened to a 9-month high in June, the Office for National Statistics reported Thursday. Trade in goods resulted in a shortfall of GBP 12.72 billion in June compared to GBP 11.31 billion deficit in May.

This was the largest shortfall since September 2016. Economists had forecast the deficit to narrow to GBP 11 billion.

The house price balance in the United Kingdom came in with a score of +1 in July, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said on Thursday. That was well shy of forecasts for a score of +9, and down sharply from +7 in June.

The greenback has tumbled to nearly a 2-month low of Y109.300 against the Japanese Yen Thursday afternoon, from an early high of Y110.180.

Producer prices in Japan were up 0.3 percent on month in July, the Bank of Japan said on Thursday. That exceeded expectations for an increase of 0.2 percent following the upwardly revised 0.1 percent gain in June.

Core machine orders in Japan skidded a seasonally adjusted 1.9 percent on month in June, the Cabinet Office said on Thursday, standing at 790.0 billion yen. That was well shy of forecasts for an increase of 3.6 percent following the 3.6 percent decline in May.

Japan's tertiary activity remained flat in June, data published by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed Thursday. The tertiary industry activity index held steady in June, following a 0.1 percent drop in May. Economists had forecast a 0.2 percent growth for June.

by RTT Staff Writer

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