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U.S. Dollar Wins as $18 Billion Jobless Benefits Bill Becomes Law

Currencies / US Dollar Apr 16, 2010 - 05:52 AM GMT

By: LiveCharts

Currencies

The dollar made gains on Thursday (April 15) against most major currencies and also put a wrap on driving oil prices and gold prices.  The dollar’s strength is due partly to the rapid passing of an $18 billion extension of unemployment benefits for hundreds of thousands of people that have been struggling after their state-paid unemployment benefits ran out.


The bill was quickly passed by both the House and Senate and President O’Bama wasted no time in signing it into law.  The bill is a temporary extension through June 2nd with discussion of a longer-term solution to begin immediately.

The result is that the throngs of employees who exhausted their 26 state-based unemployment payments can now get up to 99 weekly unemployment checks at an average rate of $335 per check.

The move is definitely good for those that have been struggling to keep up with mortgages and other bills in the midst of unemployment.  It puts dollars into the hands of consumers who can spend them to help the economy.  However, those opposed to the bill say it is just another add-on to the growing debt for future Americans to pay.

Medicare had recently stated its intention to payout 21 per cent less on doctor’s claims very soon.  Now, with access to unemployment benefits for displaced workers, this is not likely to happen.

The dollar pushed back against most major currencies.  The Euro and Pound have both been on upward trends of late but both were knocked back Thursday.  The Euro’s five-day winning streak against the greenback ended as the one Euro now fetches just over $1.35.  The British Pound fell toward the $1.54.

Gold prices ended the New York trading day Thursday in about the same position as they started.  Wednesday’s New York closing gold price was $1,154.80 and the current spot rate for gold is just above $1,155.  Gold has been on a strong run in the last month, but it has traded mostly flat this week.

Light sweet crude oil prices for May delivery fell 33 cents Thursday in New York to settle at $85.51.  This was after an early morning run up past $87 that stalled after a poor jobs report and word of the new unemployment benefits bill came forth.

Neil Kokemuller

LiveCharts.co.uk

Neil Kokemuller is an Associate Professor of Marketing at Des Moines Area Community College in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. He has a MBA from Iowa State University. He is also in house stock market commentator at Live Charts UK, where you can find real time charts and share prices .

Copyright © 2010 Live Charts

Please note: The information provided in this article is intended for informational and entertainment purposes, and not as advice for financial decisions or investments. Actions taken on the basis of the information shared is at the sole risk and discretion of the individual. Currency investment poses significant risk of loss.

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