Major US indices rose at the beginning of the day, despite the shock experienced by the local labor market, CNN commented on the situation. Over the past week, more than 3.2 million US residents filed their first applications for unemployment benefits in connection with the coronavirus pandemic. Such terrifying figures were not recorded in the history of observation of these data (1967).
White House Chief Economist Larry Kudlow tried to smooth out a possible negative surprise. The official warned that the report would indicate a strong surge in the number of unemployment claims. Who would have thought that, instead of a catastrophic forecast of 1 million, bidders would see twice as much value on the chart.
The number of applications for unemployment benefits in the United States
The current three million with a tail is more than four times higher than the previous record high of 1982, when 695,000 applications were registered. The US Labor Office also noted that we are talking about an increase of more than 1000% compared with the value for the previous period.
It is worth noting that last week one of the country's largest banks, Bank of America, predicted such a development of events.
According to the Washington Post, some Americans had to wait hours in line for their applications to be accepted. Most local strategists noted the onset of a recession in the United States; it is expected that by April the number of unemployed will exceed 40 million. The newspaper also admitted that the actual number of unemployed may be much higher. Self-employed, students, freelancers, who have recently changed jobs or moved to another region of the country, are not allowed to apply for benefits.
Meanwhile, restaurants, shops, hotels, gyms and many other public places are closing down in the United States as part of the fight against the spread of coronavirus.
According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 69.1 thousand cases of infection were recorded in America, more than a thousand people died from pneumonia caused by coronavirus. The university calculates the number of cases using reports from the US, WHO and other official sources.
What will the dollar say?
The dollar was under pressure throughout the entire trading on Thursday until the publication of statistics from the US labor market. The dollar index was gradually preparing to meet the 100 mark, below which it had gone immediately after the release of unprecedented data. It lost more than 1% in the US session.
The dollar falls for the fifth consecutive day, after it strengthened for seven out of eight previous days, reaching peak levels over several years. Perhaps it is time to return to the market.
Given the aggressive collapse of the longest bull market in history, a further drop in the stock market is not ruled out until the trend reverses. As for the dollar, it is highly likely to regain the status of a safe haven asset, and this will not be the first and not the only case.
There is one but, suggesting pressure on the reserve world currency. Some analysts predict the combined efforts of global central banks to weaken the dollar. This has not happened since the Plaza Agreement in 1985. The greenback lost 48% of the value in the period from February 1985 to November 1987.
What does Powell think?
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell made a speech on Thursday. He said in an interview with NBC that the coronavirus pandemic is putting unprecedented pressure on the US economy.
"We may well be in a recession. But I would point out the difference between this and a normal recession. There is nothing fundamentally bad in our economy. Just the opposite. We are starting from a very strong position, " Powell said. The Fed chairman also called the current situation "unique."
"I think people should understand that this is not a typical recession. People are asked to close their business, stay at home and not engage in certain economic activities. At some point, we will take control of the virus, and confidence will return," Powell said.
He also had to explain US President Donald Trump's desire to remove the restrictions on Easter due to coronavirus.
"We are not pandemic experts and cannot make this decision. We tend to listen to the opinion of experts," the head of the regulator summed up.
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