US Dollar Rises on Housing, Q2 GDP

The US dollar is gaining on several major currency rivals toward the end of the trading week, buoyed by the latest housing data and the final gross domestic product (GDP) figure for the second quarter. The buck’s downward performance in recent sessions had been driven by geopolitics, from the US-China trade war to tensions in the Middle East.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the US economy advanced by an annualized rate of 2% in the April-to-June period, unrevised from the initial estimate. This is down from the 3.1% expansion in the first quarter, suggesting that the world’s biggest economy might be taking a breather amid the lingering trade dispute. The Q2 GDP price index surged 2.6%, up from 0.8% in the January-to-March period.
The biggest takeaway in the Commerce Department report was Q2 business investment, which declined at a 1% annualized rate, the biggest decline since the fourth quarter of 2015.
In August, wholesale inventories advanced 0.4%, up from 0.1% in July. Corporate profits in Q2 surged 3.7%, up from the 4.1% contraction in Q1. The goods trade balance slipped $72.83 billion last month, down from $72.46 billion in July.
On the labor front, initial jobless claims for the week ending September 21 came in at 213,000, a 3,000 boost from the previous week. For the week ending September 14, continuing jobless claims fell to 1.65 million, down from 1.665 million in the previous week.
The housing numbers had performed modestly well. August new home sales surged 7.1%, while pending home sales rose 1.6%. But, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), mortgage applications plunged 10.1% in the week ending September 20.
Next on the data schedule is personal income, personal spending, durable goods orders, consumer prices, and manufacturing surveys.
The USD/CAD currency pair rose 0.05% to 1.3274, from an opening of 1.3270, at 17:33 GMT on Thursday. The EUR/USD dipped 0.08% to 1.0935, from an opening of 1.0943.

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