The U.S. dollar firmed against its major counterparts on Thursday as data showing a slightly bigger than expected increase in U.S. consumer prices in the month of September raised concerns the Federal Reserve will hold rates higher for longer.
Data from the Labor Department showed that the consumer price index climbed by 0.4% in September after increasing by 0.6% in August. Economists had expected consumer prices to rise by 0.3%.
The report also said the annual rate of consumer price growth was unchanged at 3.7%, while the annual rate of core consumer price growth slowed to 4.1% in September from 4.3% in August.
A separate report showed that first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits came in at 209,000, in the week ended October 7, unchanged compared to the previous week’s revised level. Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 210,000 from the 207,000 originally reported for the previous week.
The dollar index strengthened to 106.60, gaining nearly 0.75%.
Against the Euro, the dollar firmed to 1.0531 from 1.0619, gaining more than 0.8%. Against Pound Sterling, the dollar is trading at 1.2176, up sharply from the previous close of 1.2314.
The Japanese currency is weak at 149.80 yen a dollar, easing from 149.17 a dollar. The dollar is up sharply against the Aussie at 0.6316, gaining more than 1.5% from 0.6414.
The Swiss franc has weakened to CHF 0.9084 from CHF 0.9020, while the Loonie is weak at C$ 1.3691 a dollar, dropping from C$ 1.3594.