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Dollar Rebounds, Scores Solid Gains Over Peers


The U.S. dollar climbed higher on Thursday, scoring strong gains against its major counterparts, as a sell-off on Wall Street propped up the demand for the currency.

U.S. stocks tanked today amid concerns the Federal Reserve might tighten its policy somewhat aggressively to combat soaring inflation.

The dollar had tumbled on Wednesday after Fed chair Jerome Powell ruled out aggressive rate hikes, saying the bank was not considering 75-basis point hikes in the future.

Still, the possibility of interest rates surging higher somewhat consistently during the course of this year boosted the demand for the greenback.

Data released by the Labor Department this morning showed initial jobless claims rose to 200,000 in the week ended April 30th, an increase of 19,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 181,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 182,000 from the 180,000 originally reported for the previous week.

A separate report from the Labor Department said labor productivity plunged by 7.5% in the first quarter, reflecting the largest decline since the third quarter of 1947.

Traders also looked ahead to the release of the Labor Department’s closely watched monthly jobs report on Friday.

Economists currently expect employment to jump by 391,000 jobs in April after surging by 431,000 jobs in March, while the unemployment rate is expected to edge down to 3.5% from 3.6%.

The dollar index rose to 103.94 around noon, hitting a near 20-year high again, before paring some gains and easing to 103.53, still up almost 1% from the previous close.

Against the Euro, the dollar firmed to $1.0540 from $1.0623.

The Pound Sterling tumbled against the dollar after the Bank of England raised its benchmark lending rate and warned of a recession. The dollar was trading at $1.2356 a sterling a little while ago, compared to $1.2635 Wednesday evening.

Against the Japanese currency, the dollar strengthened to 130.17 yen, gaining from 129.09 yen.

The dollar climbed more than 2% against the Aussie, firming to 0.7108 from 0.7260.

The Swiss franc weakened to 0.9851 against the dollar, sliding from 0.9721, while the Loonie dropped to C$1.2836 a dollar from C$1.2739.

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