Investing.com - The U.S. dollar extended Thursday's gains
against most major currencies into Friday after official data
revealed far less individuals filed for unemployment assistance in
the U.S. last week than expected.
The dollar also saw demand among investors seeking safe harbor
ahead of a Group of Seven meeting of finance ministers and central
bankers in the U.K. this weekend.
In U.S. trading on Friday, EUR/USD was down 0.48% at 1.2979.
The Department of Labor reported on Thursday that the number of
individuals filing initial jobless claims in the U.S. last week
fell by 4,000 to 323,000, defying expectations for an increase of
8,000 to 335,000.
The report allayed fears that the U.S. economy may be hitting a
soft patch and prompt the Federal Reserve to keep monetary stimulus
programs in place for longer.
Stimulus tools, such as the Fed's monthly USD85 billion bond-buying
program, weaken the greenback to spur recovery.
Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that U.S.
economy added 165,000 nonfarm payrolls in April, up from 138,000 in
March, whose figure was revised up from 88,000.
April's figures far outpaced analysts' forecasts for a 145,000
The dollar also saw support as a meeting of G7 finance ministers
kicked off, with investors eagerly awaiting hints as to when
monetary stimulus programs may unwind and when fiscal reforms may
take place on a global basis.
The greenback, meanwhile, was up against the pound, with GBP/USD
trading down 0.65% at 1.5350.
In the U.K. earlier, official data revealed the trade deficit
narrowed less than expected in March, coming in at GBP9.1 billion
from a GBP9.2 billion deficit the previous month.
Analysts were expecting the trade deficit to narrow to GBP9.0
billion in March.
The dollar was up against the yen, with USD/JPY up 0.95% at 101.58,
and up against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF trading up 1.04% at
The dollar was up against its cousins in Canada, Australia and New
Zealand, with USD/CAD up 0.47% at 1.0115, AUD/USD down 0.81% at
1.0009 and NZD/USD trading down 1.08% at 0.8300.
The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback
versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.58% at
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