Economic news out of the U.S. today showed that durable goods orders increased by less than expected in the month of December. Durable goods orders in the United States rose by 0.3 percent in December to a total of $167.9 billion according to the U.S. Commerce Department today. December’s total follows two straight months of decline including a revised decrease of 0.4 percent from November. November’s data was originally estimated to have risen by 0.2 percent before today’s revision.
Durable goods are products manufactured in the U.S. and considered to last more than three years. Market forecasts had been expecting that durable goods orders would increase by approximately 2.0 percent for the month.
New orders for durable goods excluding transportation increased by 0.9 percent in December following a revised increase of 2.1 percent in November. This data surpassed market forecasts which were predicting an increase of 0.5 percent for durables minus transportation for the month.
December’s results for shipments of durable goods increased by 2.9 percent and gained for the fourth straight month. Unfilled orders decreased for the fifteenth straight month by 1.2 percent while durable good inventories decreased 0.2 percent in December. December nondefense orders for new goods fell by 0.2 percent while defense orders for capital goods decreased by 2.8 percent.
Weekly Jobless Claims fall by 28,000.
A separate government release by the U.S. Labor Department showed that weekly U.S. jobless claims decreased in the week that ended on January 23rd. New jobless claims fell to a total of 470,000 unemployed workers, a decrease over the prior week by 8,000 workers. A 4-week moving average of unemployed workers declined by 9,500 from the prior week to a total of 456,250.
Meanwhile, workers seeking continuing claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending January 16th also decreased for the week. Continuing claims fell by 57,000 workers to a total of 4,602,000 unemployed workers. A four week moving average of continuing claims dropped by 94,250 to 4,669,250.
US Dollar trades higher in Forex.
The U.S. dollar has been gaining in forex trading today against the other major currencies as inverstor’s risk appetite has left the markets. The dollar has advanced today versus the euro, British pound, Canadian dollar and the Swiss franc while falling against the Japanese yen as of 1:19 pm EST according to currency data by Oanda. Against the New Zealand dollar and Australian dollar, the American currency is trading virtually unchanged after reversing losses earlier today.
The U.S. stock markets, meanwhile, are declining sharply today with the Dow Jones following by approximately 100 points, the Nasdaq decreasing over 40 points and the S&P 500 down by almost 10 points so far. Oil has edged down by $0.26 to $73.41 while gold has fallen by $3.20 to trade at the $1,081.30 per ounce level.
USD/CAD 4-Hour Chart – The US Dollar has pared some early losses today versus the Canadian Dollar in forex trading to gain by approximately 20 pips against the Canadian currency. The USD/CAD is gaining for the fourth day in a row today to trade over the 1.0650 level after touching a monthly low on January 14th below 1.0230.