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People are going back to work as jobless claims drop

Initial Jobless Claims Rise, Rising Retail Sales in The UK Send GBPUSD Up from October Highs & Crypto Stalls

Initial jobless claims rise to highest in 2-months

After dropping to historical lows in recent weeks, initial jobless claims for last week rose to their highest levels since November.

Data released by the Labor Department showed that claims for unemployment benefits came in at 230,000, an increase of 10% from the previous week. The rise in claims comes as Omicron cases in the United States surged to start the year, leading to a weaker labor market.


The S&P 500 traded 1.42% lower on the session, with the NASDAQ falling 2.51%. This came as the Labor Department’s producer price index rose by 0.2% in December.

FTSE 100 higher, as a result of rising UK retail sales

In the United Kingdom, retail sales climbed higher to end the year, as a rise in Omicron cases led to a rise in domestic consumption.

Figures released by British retailer Marks and Spencer showed that Q3 sales were up 18.6% to almost £3 billion.

In addition to M&S, Tesco also reported an increase in sales, which rose 3.2% in the run up to Christmas. Overall, retail sales in Britain were up 2.1% in December, bringing full-year growth to 9.9%.

London’s FTSE 100 closed 0.16% higher during today’s session, while GBPUSD hit 1.3749, its highest rate since October.

Cryptocurrency prices stall

Cryptocurrency prices were initially trading higher on Thursday, as markets continued to rally after recent sell offs in the space.  But like many things this was not to last.

Prices of the world’s largest crypto, BTCUSD, were trading at an intraday high of $44,278, 10% higher than this week’s low, but then sold off in U.S. trading hours, falling 2.12% to $42,877.67

Many believe long-term believers in crypto and the blockchain are “buying the dip”, in the aftermath of the recent declines in price.  But there are serious headwinds in the market.

In addition to BTCUSD, Ethereum prices also rebounded from this week’s lows, trading at a high of $3,401, before falling to $3,271.69 down 3.04% on the day.  However, this is still progress after starting the week below $3,000.

Many now wait to see if this week’s rebound will return tomorrow, or if the bearish market sentiment will lead to further declines.

“In trading/investing, it’s not about how much you make but rather how much you don’t lose.”

– Bernard Baruch

Eliman Dambell

Senior Market Analyst