Forex News – US new home sales fall in December

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The US dollar fell in reaction to new home sales data from the United States. Data released today by the Commerce Department show new home sales fell unexpectedly in December.

Fewer new homes were purchased in December, dropping the number to 307,000, which was well below the forecast 325,000. This brings down the sales rate by 2.2 percent. Previous numbers were at 314,000 homes sold.

The supply in relation to sales rose slightly to 6.1 months in December from 6.0 months in November. Median sales prices have fallen 12.8% in the past year to $210,300. This is the lowest level since October 2010.

Meanwhile, prior to the homes sales report, a separate report on jobless claims was released by the US Labour Department. Initial unemployment claims increased by 21,000 to 377,000 in the week ended January 21. The previous week’s figures were revised up slightly to 356,000 from 352,000, which was still the lowest level since April 2008. Claims were forecast to jump by 23,000 to 375,000.

The only slightly positive data were on durable goods orders which increased by 3.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted $214.52 billion, the Commerce Department said Thursday.

USDJPY fell to a session low of 77.31 after the new home sales data.