GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS. THE POWER MOVE OF DOLLAR

Global stock indices were mostly down on Thursday, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq falling along with Apple shares, while the US dollar rose after weaker-than-expected US jobless claims data.

Initial jobless claims in the states for the week ended September 2 unexpectedly fell to 216,000 from a revised 229,000 the week before. The latest week’s reading was the lowest since February.

A separate report showed that US labour productivity in the second quarter was not as strong as previously announced.

The latest data confirmed the view that the US economy remains resilient and that US interest rates may have to be raised for a long time to come.

China’s yuan fell to a 16-year low against the dollar amid falling property prices, weak consumer spending and reduced credit growth in the world’s second-largest economy.

China’s trade data released on Thursday, while not as dire as economists had forecast, still showed a nearly 9% drop in exports and a more than 7% drop in imports.

In Japan, traders continued to watch for intervention as the Japanese yen struggled to make a sustained breakout against the steady dollar.

The dollar had earlier hit its highest since November at 147.875 yen and was last down 0.4% to 147.20.

The dollar declined on Friday but still remains on track for its longest weekly winning streak in nine years, helped by a steady run of U.S. economic data that also called into question the end of the Federal Reserve’s aggressive rate hike cycle.

The U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the dollar against major currencies, was last down 0.1% at 104.93, but remained not far from the previous session’s six-month high of 105.15. The index was on track to continue rising for the eighth consecutive week and is currently up 0.6%.

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