For a second consecutive week initial jobless claims in the United States dropped as more Americans returned to work.
Data released by the Labor Department showed that applications for unemployment benefits came in at 547,000 for the week that ended April 17th.
The figures were better than the previous number of 586,000, which was the lowest since the pandemic, and below forecasted estimates of 617,000.
With the COVID-19 vaccine being rapidly distributed in the U.S. many businesses have reopened, and employees are returning to work.
The NASDAQ index, DOW and S&P 500 all ended the day down close to 1% despite this improvement in claims.
ECB keep rates unchanged
The European Central Bank today decided to keep interest rates unchanged, despite most of Europe experiencing a third wave of COVID-19 cases.
In its monthly report, the bank held rates, whilst also confirming it will continue its net asset purchases programme/PEPP until March 2022 at the least.
The decision comes as Germany and France both recently prepared for national lockdowns, as cases of the coronavirus continued to spread throughout the continent.
Overall, Europe has been slow in vaccinating its citizens, however it has now started to ramp up distribution of several vaccines.
Whilst this happened, the ECB stated that, “Preserving favourable financing conditions over the pandemic period remains essential to reduce uncertainty and bolster confidence, thereby underpinning economic activity and safeguarding medium-term price stability”.
The DAX was up 0.83% on the news.
Bitcoin slips as Turkish crypto exchange goes down
All major Cryptocurrencies were down on Thursday as it was reported that a major Turkish based exchange went offline.
Thodex, which is a major cryptocurrency exchange in Turkey, suddenly went down yesterday, leaving almost 400,000 users unable to access to funds and take or close positions.
The company released a statement stating nothing “untoward” was taking place, however the CEO of the firm Faruk Fatih Özer is reported to have fled the country.
BTCUSD hit an intraday of $52,518 in today’s session, which is the lowest it has traded since March 26th.
Quote of the day – “I believe in analysis and not forecasting.”– Nicolas Darvas
Senior Market Analyst