US jobless claims declined to 223,000 in the latest week from a revised 242,000 previously

This was the lowest reading in the current economic cycle and the lowest since 1973 which maintained confidence in a very firm labour market and expectations that the Federal Reserve would move to tighten policy in the short term.


Fed Governor Powell maintained an optimistic tone on the outlook and stated that the Fed was very close to meeting its 2% target while a rate increase is on the table for discussion at the March FOMC meeting.

Increased expectations of a March Fed tightening continued to support the dollar, although the Euro did find some support on approach to the 1.0500 level as markets had already moved closer to pricing in a US rate hike with futures markets indicating over a 75% chance of a move.


The Euro found some support at the 1.0500 area without making any significant headway as markets waited for comments from Fed Chair Yellen and Vice-Chair Fischer after the European close on Friday.