By Dow Jones Business News, March 14, 2013, 11:19:00 AM EDT
By Carla Mozee and Polya Lesova, MarketWatch
LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) -- The U.S. dollar slipped Thursday, slightly pulling back from earlier gains that followed
data showing weekly jobless claims fell to the second lowest level in five years.
The ICE dollar index (DXY), which measures the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, was at 82.843, down
from 82.936 in late North American trading on Wednesday.
The dollar index hit an intraday high of 83.166 after the Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell by 10,000
to a seasonally adjusted 332,000 in the week ended March 9, signaling that the labor market continues to improve.
The dollar index had reached a seven-month high on Wednesday after February U.S. retail sales exceeded economist
forecasts, adding to an upbeat view of the world's largest economy.
The WSJ dollar index , which measures the greenback against a wider basket, on Thursday also gave up earlier gains,
moving to 73.77 from 73.90 on Wednesday.
On Thursday, the dollar (USDJPY) came off stronger levels against the yen, recently trading at Yen96.14 from Yen96.17,
while the British pound (GBPUSD) reached $1.5017, up from $1.4919.
The euro (EURUSD) turned modestly higher, trading at $1.2962 from $1.2955 in the previous session, when it reached a
The Australian dollar (AUDUSD) surged to $1.0383 from $1.0289 late Wednesday after data from the Australian Bureau of
Statistics showed Australia's jobless rate remained steady at 5.4% in February. Economists had expected a rise to 5.5%.
The economy added 71,500 jobs in the month, outstripping expectations for a net gain of 10,000 jobs.
RBC Capital Markets strategist Sue Trinh said the much stronger-than-expected employment data led to Reserve Bank of
Australia "rate-cut expectations getting pared back sharply."
For the New Zealand dollar (NZDUSD), a decision by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand to leave its policy rate at 2.5%
saw the kiwi drop to 81.99 U.S. cents, after starting the session around 83 U.S. cents.
The statement accompanying the rate decision was dovish, said Trinh, with the central bank citing the intensifying
drought and ongoing headwinds from a stronger New Zealand dollar and fiscal drag.
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