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Dollar index slips lower as U.S. data still weighs

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Shutterstock photo - - The dollar was lower against the other major currencies on Friday, as the previous session's downbeat U.S. economic reports continued to weigh and markets eyed additional U.S. data due later in the trading session.

Sentiment on the dollar remained vulnerable after the U.S. Department of Labor said on Thursday that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending February 7 increased by 25,000 to 304,000, compared to expectations for a 6,000 rise to 285,000.

Data also showed that U.S. retail sales declined by 0.8% last month, worse than expectations for a drop of 0.5%, while core retail sales, which exclude automobile sales, slumped 0.9% in December.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.17% to 94.13.

EUR/USD edged up 0.19% to 1.1425 after preliminary data showed that the euro zone's gross domestic product rose 0.3% in the last quarter of 2014, exceeding expectations for a growth rate of 0.2% and up from 0.2% in the previous quarter.

An earlier report showed that German GDP rose 0.7% in the last quarter, beating expectations for a 0.3% increase and up from a growth rate of 0.1% in the three months to September.

Data also showed that France's GDP rose 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2014, in line with expectations, after the economy grew 0.4% in the previous quarter.

The euro had weakened after talks between Greece and European Union officials ended without an agreement on Wednesday, though both sides said there was still hope for a deal. Further talks are due to be held next Monday.

Greece's current bailout is due to expire on February 28 and the new Greek government does not want it extended, fuelling fears over a conflict with its creditors which could trigger the country's exit from the euro zone.

The pound edged up to more than one-month highs against the dollar, with GBP/USD up 0.08% to 1.5398.

Elsewhere, USD/JPY slipped 0.24% to trade at 118.82, while USD/CHF declined 0.35% to 0.9278.

In Switzerland, data on Friday showed that producer price inflation fell 0.6% in January, in line with expectations, after a 0.4% decline the previous month.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars were little changed, with AUD/USD at 0.7735 and NZD/USD at 0.7427. The Canadian dollar also held steady, with USD/CAD at 1.2514.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to produce preliminary data on consumer sentiment. 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.

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