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U.S. Dollar Shines After Upbeat Unemployment and Housing News

Currencies / US Dollar Apr 23, 2010 - 07:18 AM GMT

By: LiveCharts

Currencies

Two very positive reports on the economy Thursday (April 22) morning have helped strengthen the dollar against major currencies and commodities.  Home sales were relatively strongly during the month of March and last week’s new jobless claims fell by 24,000 from the week before, in line with analyst estimates.


On the “home” front, sales of existing homes climbed a strong 6.8 per cent to a seasonally adjusted 5.35 million in March.  This marked the best month for home sales since December and it ended a streak of three consecutive months of declines, according to the report from the National Association of Realtors.

Thanks largely to government inducements, some of which are set to expire soon, transactions were much more prevalent.  The median sales price was $170,700, which is similar to the same month one year ago.  Falling home prices have been a major concern as well, but some stability has been since of late.

Major federal tax credits for first time home buyers and others are set to expire in late April barring an extension from lawmakers.  While some believe the housing market is headed in the right direction, other top economists say time will tell whether the markets are strong enough to grow once the incentives for buyers disappear.

The decrease in the number of new jobless claims left a seasonally adjusted total of 456,000 according to the latest report from the Labor Department.  While in line, analyst reactions to the new job numbers were mixed.  Some see the decline in initial claims as a positive.  Others point out that the Easter holiday season makes adjustment calculations difficult and the overall pace of declines in initial claims is modest at best.

Following the two generally positive reports, the dollar was up to around 93.5 yen during New York trade Thursday.  The dollar was also stronger against the European currencies with one Euro now fetching only $1.3310 and a British Pound worth $1.5381.

Gold prices were at $1,141.60 with upward momentum stalled this week as growth in economic sentiment picks up.  Gold closed at $1,146.20 in New York on Wednesday, so it has seen a nearly $5 decline thus far Thursday.

Crude oil prices for June delivery were down by $1.05 at $82.63.  Prices have been buoyed by mostly positive earnings this week but economic concerns in Europe and the dollar’s strength have capped any gains.

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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