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In the US weekly jobless claims jumped by 68,000, a figure much worse than expected; on the other hand retail sales edged higher by 0.1% on the month, indicating an increase in consumerism. Overall this boosted the US dollar.
The US Federal Reserve is meeting on 18 December, which will be the last meeting of 2013. Due to both the recent drop in unemployment and today’s retail sales report, more and more dealers feel tapering will occur next week.
The euro got off to a bad start this morning after European Central Bank president Mario Draghi assured the markets that interest rates would be kept low for an ‘extended period’. Not only does this have a negative impact on the domestic currency, it sends a message that the eurozone needs assistance to get back to growth.
This morning’s disappointing industrial production figures from the eurozone also highlight problems in the region; the consensus was for increase of 0.4% and it came in at -1.1%. Ireland had a particularly bad October, where industrial production dropped 11.6% on the month.