Investing.com - The dollar remained broadly higher against the
other major currencies on Thursday after the Federal Reserve
announced plans to start winding back economic stimulus from next
USD/JPY was down 0.10% to 104.18 during U.S. morning trade, after
rising as high as 104.35 earlier, the highest level since October
The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it would reduce its
USD85 billion-a-month bond buying program by USD10 billion in
January. In his last press conference as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke
said the economy was continuing to make progress.
The U.S. central bank reiterated that interest rates are likely to
remain low even after the unemployment rate drops below 6.5%, the
threshold at which the Fed has previously said it would start to
consider rate increases.
The euro was trading close to two week lows against the dollar,
with EUR/USD falling to lows of 1.3650, the weakest since December
6. The pair was last down 0.17% to 1.3662.
Data on Thursday showed that U.S. existing home sales fell to an
almost one year low in November, while a separate report showed
that U.S. jobless claims rose to the highest level since March.
The National Association of Realtors said sales of previously owned
homes fell 4.3% last month to an annual rate of 4.90 million units,
the third successive monthly decline.
Meanwhile, the number of people claiming unemployment assistance in
the week ending December 14 increased by 10,000 to a seasonally
adjusted 379,000 the Labor Department said.
Analysts had expected U.S. jobless claims to fall by 35,000 to
334,000 last week from the previous week's revised total of
The pound was fractionally lower against the dollar, with GBP/USD
dipping 0.07% to 1.6377.
Sterling showed little reaction after official data on Thursday
showed that U.K. retail sales increased by 0.3% last month and were
2% higher on a year-over-year basis. Economists had forecast a
monthly gain of 0.3% and an annual increase of 2.3%.
Demand for the pound continued to be underpinned after data on
Wednesday showed that the U.K. unemployment rate unexpectedly fell
to a four-and-a-half year low in the three months to October,
fuelling hopes that the Bank of England will raise interest rates
ahead of other central banks.
The dollar pushed higher against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF up
0.31% to 0.8966.
The greenback was trading near three-and-a-half year highs against
the Australian dollar, with AUD/USD dipping 0.06% to 0.8855.
The U.S. dollar was mixed against its New Zealand and Canadian
counterparts, with NZD/USD dropping 0.82% to 0.8169 and USD/CAD
slipping 0.14% to 1.0680.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the performance of the
greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up
0.17% to 80.76.
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