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Dollar dips as market digests spotty data

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Shutterstock photo - - The dollar traded largely lower against most major currencies on Thursday after markets digested positive data on the surface and found numbers to suggest headwinds are still slowing U.S. recovery.

In U.S. trading on Thursday, EUR/USD was down 0.01% at 1.3714.

The dollar rose earlier on upbeat data though the greenback gave back gains after the data revealed recovery may not be so upbeat.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said its manufacturing index ticked down to 15.4 this month from 16.6 in April, better than expectations for a 14.0 reading.

The data came after the U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending May 10 fell by 24,000 to 297,000 from the previous week's revised total of 321,000. Analysts had expected jobless claims to fall by 1,000 to 320,000 last week.

Elsewhere, the New York Fed said its manufacturing index climbed to a two-plus-year high of 19.01 in May from a reading of 1.29 in April, far surpassing market calls for a rise to 5.00 this month.

On the other hand, U.S. industrial production dropped 0.6% last month, confounding expectations for a 0.1% rise. March's figure was revised up to a 0.9% increase from a previously estimated 0.7% gain.

U.S consumer inflation rates came in better than expected as well, though concerns arose after investors digested the numbers.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported earlier that the U.S. consumer price index rose to 0.3% in April from 0.2% in March, in line with market expectations.

The U.S. core consumer price index, which excludes food and energy items, rose by 0.2% last month, more than the expected 0.1% uptick, after a 0.2% gain in March.

On Thursday, however, the producer price index came in much better than expected, and the consumer inflation rate's inability to maintain the same pace as its wholesale counterpart softened the dollar somewhat by stoking concerns surrounding the strength of U.S. demand for goods and services.

The U.S. producer price index increased by 0.6% last month, beating forecasts for a 0.2% gain, after rising 0.5% in March.

Year-over-year, the producer price index rose 2.1% in April, beating expectations for a 1.7% increase and up from 1.4% in the preceding month.

The core producer price index advanced 0.5% last month, compared to expectations for a 0.2% increase, after rising 0.6% in March.

Core produces prices rose at an annualized rate of 1.9% in April, beating forecasts for a 1.4% gain and after climbing 1.4% in the preceding month.

The Federal Reserve views core prices as a better gauge of longer-term inflationary pressure because they exclude the volatile food and energy categories.

Meanwhile, the single currency saw pressures of its own after Eurostat reported the euro zone's gross domestic product grew just 0.2% in the first quarter, missing expectations for a 0.4% growth rate. On a year-over-year basis the bloc's economy expanded 0.9%, falling short of expectations for growth of 1.1%.

Separately, Eurostat reported that the annual rate of inflation in the euro zone came in unchanged at 0.7% in April, in line with forecasts. The inflation rate is still well below the ECB's 2% target.

Separately, European Central Bank Vice President Vitor Constancio told the Wall Street Journal earlier that the central bank was open to more monetary easing and was determined to act swiftly if required.

Also pressuring prices lower, retailers Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) andKohl's Corporation (NYSE:KSS) reported first-quarter numbers that disappointed investors, which further fueled concerns that demand in the U.S. remains soft.

The dollar was down against the yen, with USD/JPY down 0.35% at 101.54 and up against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF up 0.05% at 0.8902.

The greenback was down against the pound, with GBP/USD up 0.18% at 1.6796.

The dollar was mixed against its cousins in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with USD/CAD down 0.10% at 1.0877, AUD/USD down 0.23% at 0.9356 and NZD/USD down 0.33% at 0.8639.

The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.06% at 80.07.

On Friday, the U.S. is to round up the week with reports on building permits and housing starts, and a preliminary reading on consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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