The U.S. dollar exhibited weakness against most of its major counterparts on Thursday amid improved risk sentiment following the Federal Reserve reiterating its commitment to maintain its easy monetary policy for the foreseeable future.
Traders were also reacting to the Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s comments and the minutes of the European Central Bank’s recent policy meeting, as well a slew of economic data from around the world.
The minutes of the Federal Reserve’s March meeting released on Wednesday showed Fed officials acknowledged the improvement in the medium-term outlook for real GDP growth and employment but expressed caution about ongoing risks of the pandemic to the economic outlook.
“Participants noted that it would likely be some time until substantial further progress toward the Committee’s maximum-employment and price-stability goals would be realized and that, consistent with the Committee’s outcome-based guidance, asset purchases would continue at least at the current pace until then,” the minutes showed.
During his speech at a virtual IMF seminar today, Jerome Powell said the central bank would like to see actual evidence of economic growth before considering any policy tightening. He also reiterated expectations that an anticipated rise in inflation this year would be temporary.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration released more details about the tax plan, which raises the federal corporate income tax rate to 28% from 21%.
Data released by the Labor Department this morning showed first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly increased in the week ended April 3rd, edging up to 744,000, an increase of 16,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 728,000.
Jobless claims rose for the second straight week after falling to a one-year low of 658,000 in the week ended March 20th.
The continued increase surprised economists, who had expected jobless claims to drop to 680,000 from the 719,000 originally reported for the previous month.
The dollar index, which drifted down to 92.00 a little past noon, was last seen at 92.07, down 0.42% from previous close.
Against the Euro, the dollar weakened to $1.1917 a unit, down nearly 0.4% from previous close. In the European session, the dollar was hovering around $1.1870. The minutes from the European Central Bank’s March meeting showed that members broadly agreed that a significant increase in the pace of its asset purchases was warranted by the observed tightening of financing conditions and the lack of a material improvement in the growth and inflation outlook.
The Pound Sterling was little changed at $1.3733 a little while ago, after having firmed up to $1.3783 early on in the day.
The Yen firmed up to 109.28 a dollar, gaining more than 0.5%.
The Aussie was stronger against the dollar with the AUD-USD pair hovering around 0.7655, giving the Australian currency a gain of more than 0.5%.
The Swiss franc was at 0.9240 a dollar, gaining from 0.9303, while the Loonie, at C$ 1.2560 a dollar, was up more than 0.4%.