Dollar slides on more disappointment from the US as jobless claims rise

Emma Haslett
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The claimant count has risen, figures published today showed (Source: Reuters)

The dollar slid 0.28 per cent against the pound this afternoon after fresh data from the US showed August's disappointing non-farm payroll figure was more than just a blip.

Figures released today showed the number of applicants claiming unemployment benefits rose to 315,000 last week, up from 304,000 the week before and way above economists' forecast of 300,000.

That total number of people claiming unemployment benefit in the US rose to 2.487 million, from 2.478 million the week before (although that figure is a week behind).

It had been hoped data released last week showing jobs growth fell to 142,000 in August - the first time it has been below 200,000 in seven months - was temporary. But today's climb in the claimant count suggests recovery in the US jobs market is floundering.

US jobs figures are closely watched by markets nervous about the chances of a rise in interest rates. The Federal Open Market Committee, the US' equivalent of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee, meets next. In a speech at Jackson Hole last month Janet Yellen, the Fed's new chief, vaguely hinted at the prospect of an impending rise in the US' historically low interest rate, which has stood at 0.25 per cent since 2008.

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