Increased inflation expectations and upward interest rates have boosted greenback to a 1-month high, and this surge has led to its first positive month since February. Friday’s economic data was controversial, showing that consumption has hardly increased in August, but the positive results of recent consumer confidence survey have offset the negative effect.
The dollar was backed up last week thanks to the tone of Fed Chairman Janet Yellen, who said the central bank would continue with interest rate increases in December and then in 2018. The disappointment after the election results in Germany was the other key factor that contributed the rise of the US currency. The monthly gain was 0.35%
The new week started favorably for the dollar, rising against the euro and the basket of currencies, while the dollar index rose 0.1% to 93.19 points. Police violence during the referendum in Catalunya has shaken investors, and they have withdrawn euro positions in the early hours of Monday, resulting in a 0.1% drop to 1.1796 dollars in the single currency. Of the over 2.2 million Catalans who voted, 90 percent voted for the independence of the Spanish region. The Spanish government has declared the referendum illegal.
Unemployment in the eurozone remained unchanged in August at 9.1 percent compared to July. With this, unemployment in the euro area remains at its lowest level since February 2009, according to figures from the Eurostat. Economists also expected unemployment to fall to 9 percent.
According to Eurostat, more than 14.7 million people were unemployed in the euro area in August. For the entire European Union, unemployment was measured at 7.6 percent. In the EU, more than 18.7 million were unemployed. The lowest unemployment rate in the EU was in the Czech Republic and Germany. Unemployment was still highest in Greece and Spain. For the Netherlands, Eurostat reported an unemployment rate of 4.7 percent.
In addition, more than 2.6 million young people in the euro area were unemployed. In all 28 EU countries, more than 3.7 million people under 25 had no job.
Monday’s data showed the highest levels of investor confidence in the past 10 years in Japan, which may be a sign of an economy that is finally gaining momentum. The dollar rose 0.2% against the yen to an exchange rate of 112.71 yen for one dollar.