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Dollar broadly lower after soft U.S. data

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Shutterstock photo - - The dollar weakened against a basket of other major currencies on Thursday as disappointing data on U.S. retail sales and initial jobless claims pointed to underlying softness in the economic recovery.

EUR/USD rose 0.21% to 1.3559, pulling away from the four-month low of 1.3502 set last Thursday.

The Labor Department reported that the number of people filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending June 7 increased by 4,000 to 317,000. The consensus forecast had been for a decline of 3,000.

The unexpected increase in jobless claims was not seen as altering the view that the labor market is continuing to gradually improve.

At the same time, the Commerce Department said U.S. retail sales rose 0.3% in May, falling short of expectations for a 0.6% gain. However, retail sales for April were revised up to a 0.5% gain from a previously reported increase of 0.1%.

Core retail sales, which exclude automobile sales, eased up 0.1% in May, disappointing forecasts for a 0.2% increase. Core sales in April were revised up to 0.4% from a previously reported flat reading.

The single currency has weakened broadly in recent sessions after the European Central Bank's monetary easing last week.

Elsewhere, the dollar marked an almost two-week low against the yen, with USD/JPY down 0.23% to 101.83. Demand for the yen continued to be underpinned by diminished expectations for more monetary stimulus from the Bank of Japan in the coming months.

The pound rose to more than two-week highs against the dollar, with GBP/USD climbing 0.41% to 1.6853. Sterling was boosted after an upbeat U.K. jobs report on Wednesday bolstered expectations that the Bank of England will hike rates sooner than expected.

USD/CHF slid 0.19% to 0.8980, while USD/CAD was down 0.18% to 1.0847.

The New Zealand dollar extended its rally, with NZD/USD advancing 1.76% to 0.8685. Earlier Thursday, the country's central bank raised its benchmark interest rate to a five-year high of 3.25% and indicated that rates would rise again this year as strong economic growth fuels inflation pressures.

AUD/USD was up 0.54% to 0.9432. Earlier in the day, official data showed that the Australian economy shed 4,800 jobs in May, compared to expectations for jobs growth of 10,000. The jobless rate remained steady at 5.8%.

The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.22% to 80.63. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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