US dollar climbs amid recession fears

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New York: The US dollar gained in late trading on Thursday as worries of a possible coronavirus-fuelled global recession boosted the demand for the currency.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, was up 0.5 per cent at 100.1691 in late trading.

In late New York trading, the euro was down to $1.0851 from $1.0929 in the previous session, and the British pound was up to $1.2396 from $1.2372 in the previous session. The Australian dollar was down to $0.6048 from $0.6071, Xinhua reported.

The US dollar bought 107.85 Japanese yen, higher than 107.22 Japanese yen of the previous session. The US dollar rose to 0.9730 Swiss franc from 0.9670 Swiss franc, and it decreased to 1.4190 Canadian dollars from 1.4219 Canadian dollars.

On the data front, a shocking number of Americans applied for unemployment benefits amid the COVID-19 crisis.

In the week ending March 28, US initial jobless claims, a rough way to measure layoffs, hit 6,648,000, an increase of 3,341,000 from the previous week’s revised level, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Thursday.

The reading easily topped the 3.3 million initial jobless claims announced last Thursday, which at the time was the largest number ever recorded.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide has risen above 1 million, including more than 51,000 deaths, according to a new tally from Johns Hopkins University on Thursday.

(Agencies)