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  • Initial claims down 4k to 621k
  • Continuing claims down 15k, first drop in 2009
  • Some possibility of Memorial Day week distorting data
  • Both measures consistent with ongoing job losses and rising unemployment rate, but a slower pace than in recent months
  • Have no bearing on tomorrow’s numbers as data came after survey week for NFP.

Interesting focus on FX from both ECB and BOC this morning:

From BOC:

–In recent weeks, financial conditions and commodity prices have improved significantly, and consumer and business confidence

have recovered modestly. If the unprecedentedly rapid rise in the Canadian dollar (which reflects a combination of higher

commodity prices and generalized weakness in the U.S. currency) proves persistent, it could fully offset these positive factors.

–Key is term ‘unprecedented’ and that rise in C$ is not fully explained by the rise in commodity prices.

From ECB:

–ECB staff updated its forecasts for growth and inflation. Main change was in 2009 growth forecast:

Now -4.1% to -5.1% from estimates of -2.2% to -3.2% in March

Trichet stated: “its very important u.s. repeats strong dollar policy”.

The Euro is not trading far from levels that Trichet described as ‘brutal’ in the past.