Investing.com - The U.S. dollar eased off session lows against
the euro and was close to two-and-a-half-year highs against the yen
on Thursday, after data showed that U.S. jobless claims hit a
five-year low last week, while U.S. housing starts rose at the
fastest pace in four years in December.
During U.S. morning trade, the greenback was lower against the
euro, with EUR/USD up 0.49% to 1.3353, off session highs of 1.3378.
The U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing
for initial jobless benefits last week fell by 37,000 to a
seasonally adjusted five-year low of 335,000, compared to
expectations for a decline of 7,000 to 365,000.
Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said U.S. housing starts jumped
by 12.1% in December to an annual unit rate of 0.954 million, the
highest level since 2008, compared to expectations for a 3.3%
increase to 0.890 million.
A separate report showed that the Philly Fed's manufacturing index
fell to minus 5.8 in January from 4.6 the previous month, compared
to expectations for a reading of 5.8.
The dollar was close to two-and-a-half-year highs against the yen,
with USD/JPY rallying 1.21% to 89.43.
The yen weakened as renewed expectations for more aggressive easing
steps by the Bank of Japan at next Tuesday's policy meeting
The greenback hit seven-week lows against the pound, with GBP/USD
falling 0.25% to 1.5966.
Sentiment on the pound remained fragile after a recent string of
weak economic data fuelled fears that the U.K. economy slipped back
into a recession in the fourth quarter.
The greenback was higher against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF
rising 0.24% to 0.9331.
The greenback was broadly higher against its Canadian, Australian
and New Zealand counterparts, with USD/CAD dipping 0.03% to 0.9854,
AUD/USD down 0.40% to 1.0529 and NZD/USD slipping 0.11% to 0.8400.
In Canada, official data showed that investment in foreign
securities strengthened to USD7.8 billion in November, while
foreign investment in Canadian securities slowed to USD5.6 billion.
The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback
versus a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.09% to
Elsewhere Thursday, the European Central Bank's monthly report said
it expected economic weakness in the euro zone to continue this
year, but added that the economy should begin to recover gradually
later in the year.
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