The dollar touched the highest level in more than a month as the number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefit unexpectedly dropped last week to the lowest level in more than eight years.
The euro climbed from an eight-month low after manufacturing growth unexpectedly quickened in July. The pound dropped for a seventh day versus the dollar after U.K. retail sales rose less in June than economists forecast. New Zealand’s dollar slid the most in nine months as the nation’s central bank warned of the potential for a “significant fall” in the currency.
Jobless claims fell by 19,000 to 284,000 in the week ended July 19, the fewest since February 2006, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington. Applications can be volatile at this time of year because of auto plant shutdowns, even as state data showed nothing inconsistent with prior years, a Labor Department spokesman said as the data was released to the press.