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US Unemployment Rate Doubles Causing Forex Market Waves




  • Rate has doubled from Previous Weeks Record
  • Record High is worse than Analysts Predicted
  • EUR/USD Slides Again as Oil the Only Positive

US unemployment rate figures just released make for very grim reading. A hammer blow to start Thursday, the figures show that more than 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment benefit amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. These numbers more than doubled the already unprecedented record of 3.3 million jobless claims from the previous week. The market has been somewhat slow to react to this news, but remains poised for the jobs report to be released later today.

New and Unwanted Records Being Set

Last week’s unemployment numbers of 3.3 million were far beyond the previous record high set in 1982. The number was almost 10 times greater than that set almost 40 years previous. The new weekly number from today puts that even further into the shadows. These are unprecedented times of difficulty throughout the US and global economy which show little sign of let up at present. At the time of writing, the Dow Jones was trading 150 points lower on release of the news which sees more than 10 million people in the US now filing unemployment claims in the past two weeks.

Some solace can be found in the fact that the latest $2 trillion stimulus package has made it easier for workers who have been furloughed in the crisis to remain on unemployment benefit, and also expanded the scope of those who could apply for the benefit. The previous high of 695,000 claims in 1982, and the 665,000 during the previous financial crisis of 2009 now seem miniscule by comparison.

Numbers Outpace Expert Prediction as Euro Falls

Analysts had predicted that numbers would should a marked increase. The results though, have gone far beyond even what the most pessimistic of onlookers imagined. This movement looks set to continue with more labor data to come on Friday. This government data release is set to show more huge losses across the board.

The forex market impact is already being felt as the EUR/USD market fell back below the $1.09 mark. The currency pair had worked hard over the previous week to build back up significantly, but on release of more negative data from the US, it has given way to the continually increasing safe-haven role of the greenback.

Oil Rebound Provides Glimmer of Positivity

At the opening bell, the one positive to garner from the start of the day comes from the news that the price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia may be nearing an end. Prices rallied across the oil markets more than 10% on these hopes. Nothing has been ruled out and there hasn't been any concrete word besides an offering on Wednesday from US President Trump that the two sides would “work it out” in the coming days. This news would appear to have some truth behind it and has bolstered the market from record low levels.

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Anthony is a financial journalist and business advisor with several years’ experience writing for some of the most well-known sites in the Forex world. A keen trader turned industry writer, he is currently based in Shanghai with a finger on the pulse of Asia’s biggest markets.