Dollar Underperforms Amid Jobless Figures, Investors Confidence Improves

Azeez Mustapha
2 September 2021 | Updated: 2 September 2021

The dollar, yen, and Swiss franc remain the worst currencies. New Zealand and Australian Dollars, on the other hand, are the most powerful. After better-than-expected jobless numbers from the United States, investors’ confidence improves marginally. However, so far, risk markets have been relatively stable. Investors may revert to caution and remain tranquil ahead of tomorrow’s non-farm payroll report.

US initial jobless claims fell 14,000 to 340,000 in the week ended Aug. 28, better than 351,000 expectations. This is the lowest level since March 14, 2020. The four-week moving average of initial claims fell from -12,000 to 355,000, the lowest since March 2020. For the week ending August 21, the number of ongoing claims fell -160 thousand to 2,748 thousand, the lowest since March 14, 2020. The four-week moving average number of ongoing claims fell from -58,000 to 2,855,000, the lowest since March 21, 2020.

Also in the US, the trade deficit narrowed to -70.1 billion US dollars in July against expectations of -74.5 billion US dollars. Non-farm productivity was revised to 2.1% in the second quarter, labor costs per unit of output were revised to 1.3%. In Canada, building permits fell 3.9% mom in July compared to 1.5% mom expectations. The trade surplus was C$0.8 billion, compared to C$1.7 billion expectations.

Dollar Index Stays Under Pressure Around the 92.22/50 Level

The dollar index remains under pressure near multi-week lows of 92.22 due to rising caution and thin trading conditions. In the immediate term, a move south of the 92.20 bands should allow for additional retracements to the interim support around 92.00, ahead of the 91.80/75 zone, which holds the July/August lows.

In the meanwhile, the favorable outlook for the dollar is projected to continue constantly as long as the index trades above the 200-day SMA, which is currently at 91.33. In mid-August, the US dollar index (DXY) traded to around 93.70, the highest level since November last year after minutes of the July FOMC meeting showed that most officials agree that the decline could begin in the coming months setting the stage for the December announcement.

Although DXY lost some of its gains in the month to date following the recently concluded Jackson Hole symposium (August 27), its recovery from June remains unchanged. The net long position in the US dollar, as shown by CFTC data on foreign exchange futures, jumped to its highest level since March last year and amounted to about 8.2 billion US dollars.

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Azeez Mustapha

Azeez Mustapha

Azeez Mustapha is a trading professional, currency analyst, signals strategist, and funds manager with over ten years of experience within the financial field. As a blogger and finance author, he helps investors understand complex financial concepts, improve their investing skills, and learn how to manage their money.