Dollar Drifts Lower Against Major Rivals Ahead Of Jobs Data

The U.S. dollar drifted lower against most of its major counterparts on Thursday as traders looked ahead to the crucial U.S. jobs data for the month of July.

The Labor Department's jobs data, due on Friday, is expected to show employment increased by 250,000 jobs in July after jumping by 372,000 jobs in June. The unemployment rate is expected to hold at 3.6 percent.

The strength of the jobs report could impact the outlook for interest rates, although the Federal Reserve will have much more data to digest before their next meeting in September.

Data released by the Labor Department today showed initial jobless claims crept up to 260,000 in the week ended July 30th, an increase of 6,000 from the previous week's revised level of 254,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 259,000 from the 256,000 originally reported for the previous week.

A separate report from the Commerce Department showed the trade deficit narrowed to $79.6 billion in June from a revised $84.9 billion in May. Economists had expected the trade deficit to shrink to $81.9 billion from the $85.5 billion originally reported for the previous month.

The decrease in the size of the trade deficit came as the value of exports surged by 1.7% to $260.8 billion, while the value of imports edged down by 0.3% to $340.4 billion.

The dollar index dropped to 105.67, losing about 0.8%.

Against the Euro, the dollar is at $1.0245, weakening from $1.0167.

The dollar is weak against Pound Sterling, at $1.2164, losing from $1.2146. The Bank of England today raised its benchmark rate by half-a-percentage point. The monetary policy committee of the central bank voted 8-1 to lift the bank rate by 50 basis points to 1.75%, the highest rate since December 2008. This was the sixth consecutive rate hike.

The BoE projects inflation to be over 13% in the fourth quarter of this year, and to remain at very elevated levels throughout much of next year, before falling to the 2% target in 2025. The bank had earlier projected inflation to peak above 11 percent in October.

Against the Japanese currency, the dollar has weakened to 132.96 yen from 133.86 yen.

The dollar is trading at 0.6968 against the Aussie, compared with 0.6951 on Wednesday.

Against Swiss franc, the dollar is down at CHF 0.9552, easing from CHF 0.9604, while against the Loonie, it is marginally higher at C$ 1.2864.

Data from Statistics Canada showed the nation's trade surplus widened to C$ 5.0 billion in June of 2022, from a downwardly revised C$ 4.8 billion in the prior month and well above market expectations of C$ 4.8 billion. It was the largest monthly trade surplus since August of 2008.

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