US initial jobless claims rose 20k to 294k in the week ended May 7, much larger than forecast, from the prior week’s unrevised 274k. That brought the 4-week moving average to 268.25k from an unrevised 258k. Continuing claims increased 37k to 2,161k for the April 30 week, versus 2,124k previously (revised from 2,121k). The BLS said there were no special factors in the data, but eyebrows will be raised, especially after the weaker than expected headline April jobs number. Yet, claims remain below 300k for a 62nd straight week.
US import prices rose 0.3% in April with export prices up 0.5%. The former disappointed expectations, while the latter beat. The 0.2% increase in March import prices was revised to 0.3%, with February’s -0.4% now -0.5%. Export prices in March were not revised from unchanged, but February was bumped up slightly to 0.4% from -0.5%. For import prices, petroleum prices were up 4.1% versus the prior 9.6% surge (revised from 6.5%). Excluding petroleum, prices edged up 0.1% from -0.1% (revised from -0.2%). Import prices with Canada were up 1.4% and were down 0.1% with China. As for export prices, agriculture increased 0.5% from -2.3% (revised from -2.5%), and were up 0.5% excluding agriculture.
The dollar slipped slightly following the mix of data, EURUSD edged up to toward 1.1400, as USD-JPY dipped to 109.22 lows from just over 109.35 and USDIndex lost the 94.00 handle.
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