The euro made significant gains against the dollar today lifted by two key events – a successful Spanish bond sale and the European Central Bank policy meeting. EURUSD was a little choppy after the interest rate announcement but as ECB President began to speak at a press conference and revealed that he was keeping his options open on interest-rate policy and noted that the ECB’s lending operations are putting money into the economy and improved money-market liquidity. This helped EURUSD extend gains to 1.2843, the highest since January 5.
The single currency was also supported by a successful Spanish debt sale that received double the planned amount.
Earlier in the US session, the euro briefly dipped sharply against the dollar after a sharp rise in weekly U.S. jobless claims that briefly dimmed appetite for riskier currencies. First-time jobless claims benefits rose by 24,000 to 399,000 last week, well above the forecast increase of 8,000.
The US data hurt the dollar which gave up gains made in recent days. The dollar index, which measures the USD against a basket of six other currencies, fell to 80.793, from as high as 81.364 and down from 81.313 in late New York trading on Wednesday.
The British pound fell against most counterparts, reaching a three month low against the yen and a six month low against the Australian dollar. It was choppy against the dollar. After rising to a day high of 1.5366, cable tumbled to 1.5309 on speculation the Bank of England will increase its quantitative easing program by next month. Today the BOE left its key rate unchanged at 0.50 percent.
The Swiss franc gained across the board today. USDCHF fell to a North American session low of 0.9410 from an earlier European session high of 0.9544. EURCHF fell to1.2086, the lowest since 20 September 2011.
The Canadian dollar dipped against many currencies, especially against the euro and yen, as well as US dollar.