By Joe Manimbo of TravelexThe dollar steadied against most major currencies on Wednesday after posting broad losses the previous session. Still, the dollar kept near a two-month low against the single currency as overall market optimism remained largely positive following robust quarterly earnings from Intel ( INTC) late Tuesday.
GBP: The pound rose to a two-month high against the dollar overnight on positive U.K. labor market data. The British claim count for jobless benefits fell by 20,800 in June, a little more than the 20,000 forecast. A broader survey of U.K. unemployment showed the that the IL0 jobless rate unexpectedly dipped to 7.8% in May, its lowest level in four months. Investors had expected an unemployment rate of 7.9% from the previous month's upwardly revised 8.0% reading. Overall, today's batch of British data helped to ease worries about the outlook for the economy and lifted the pound. AUD: The Australian dollar eased off yesterday's three-week high against the dollar on profit-taking and a decline in oil prices to below $77 a barrel. The recent rally underway on Wall Street has bolstered the risk-sensitive Australian currency. Positive local economic data have also played favorably into the Aussie's overall upbeat tone. Wednesday data showed that Australian consumer confidence rebounded in July, rising 11.1% from the near-6% decline the previous month. USD: U.S. retail sales fell by a larger-than-expected 0.5% month over month in June -- a weak number that was below the forecast for a 0.2% decline. Still, it was a smaller decline than the 1.1% drop in May. Core consumer inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices declined by 0.1% month over month in June after the 1.2% month-over-month fall in May. Investors had expected an unchanged reading of core consumer inflation in June. The cooler-than-expected inflation data reinforce views that the U.S. Federal Reserve has ample scope to keep rates low for quite a while to aid the recovery. Such a dollar-negative scenario hurts the buck and underscored its fall following the data.
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