The US Dollar Index struck a 2-week trough after the release of unexpectedly disappointing US labor data on Thursday. The USD Labor Department reported that both new and continuing claims for jobless benefits were higher than predicted for the two week period ended April 2nd and March 26th, respectively. Analysts says that that data isn't yet reflective of the recent rapid improvement in labor conditions across much of the US. On the other hand, they also point to the Federal Reserve Bank's latest meeting minutes, which calls for the continuance of its current cautionary stance. Essentially, the Fed, while expecting to see continued improvement, believes the economy has some way to go before it could be considered healthy.
As of 9:12 am in Tokyo trading, the US Dollar Index was trading at 92.0760 .DXY, a gain of 0.02% and moving away from the session trough of 92.0650 .DXY. The GBP/USD was higher at $1.3741, up 0.0553%, with the pair ranging from $1.37214 to $1.37432. The EUR/USD was flat at $1.1915.
China CPI Could Drive Aussie and Kiwi Dollars
Looking ahead to data releases in Asia, China's Statistics Bureau will be releasing March inflation data. Analysts expect that March CPI will have improved to 0.03% on a year-over-year basis, but will show a decline to -0.4% (from 0.6%) on a month-over-month basis. Producer prices will likely show a rise to 3.5% from 1.7% on a year-over-year basis. Commodity-linked currencies linked to the Chinese economy are likely to be impacted by the data releases. At present, the AUD/USD is trading higher at $0.7656, a gain of 0.0745%, while the NZD/USD is higher at $0.7062, up 0.0156%.