U.S. Dollar Moves Higher Following Slew Of Data

With traders reacting to a slew of U.S. economic data, the U.S. dollar has moved higher on Wednesday, extending a recent upward trend.

The U.S. dollar index is rising 0.34 points or 0.4 percent to 96.83 after reaching its best intraday level in well over a year.

The greenback is trading at 115.40 yen compared to the 115.14 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Tuesday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.1202 compared to yesterday's $1.1248.

The advance by the dollar comes after the Labor Department released a report showing first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits slid to their lowest level in over fifty years in the week ended November 20th.

The Labor Department said initial jobless claims tumbled to 199,000, a decrease of 71,000 from the previous week's revised level of 270,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to edge down to 260,000 from the 268,000 originally reported for the previous week.

With the much bigger than expected decrease, jobless claims fell to their lowest level since hitting 197,000 in November of 1969.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department released a report showing another steep drop in orders for transportation equipment led to an unexpected decrease in new orders for U.S. manufactured durable goods in the month of October.

The report said durable goods orders fell by 0.5 percent in October following a 0.4 percent drop in September. The decrease surprised economists, who had expected durable goods orders to rise by 0.2 percent.

Excluding the continued decline in orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders rose by 0.5 percent in October after climbing by 0.7 percent in September. The increase matched economist estimates.

A separate report from the Commerce Department showed the U.S. economy grew by slightly more than previously estimated in the third quarter.

The Commerce Department said real gross domestic product advanced by 2.1 percent in the third quarter compared to the previously reported 2.0 percent increase. Economists had expected the pace of GDP growth to be upwardly revised to 2.2 percent.

Another Commerce Department showed personal income and spending both increased by more than expected during the month of October.

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