US economic data released on Thursday briefly diverted the markets’ attention from Greece. There were upbeat jobs data showing an improving US labor market but mixed inflation data weighed on the dollar.
Initial jobless claims declined more than expected last week, by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 267,000 for the week ending June 13. Claims for the prior week were unrevised. For over three month, jobless claims remained below a 300,000 threshold that usually shows a healthy job market.
Meanwhile, inflation data showed the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose in May on a month-on-month basis and recorded their largest increase in more than two years. This came as a result of rising gasoline prices.
CPI rose 0.4 percent last month after gaining 0.1 percent in April. That was the largest increase since February 2013, and left the CPI unchanged in the 12 months through May after a 0.2 percent yearly decline in April.
Forecasts called for the CPI rising 0.5 percent from April and unchanged from a year ago. While energy prices are stabilizing, a strong dollar is curbing underlying inflation pressures.
A separate inflation report on core CPI, which exclude food and energy costs, increased 0.1 percent, the smallest rise since December, after advancing 0.3 percent in April. In the 12 months through May, the core CPI rose 1.7 percent after a yearly increase of 1.8 percent in April.
The dollar fell due to a reaction to the disappointing core CPI data but the upbeat jobless claims data helped cushion the fall.
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