Dollar index trims gains on weak U.S. home sales data

Stock performance Collage - - The dollar trimmed gains against the other major currencies on Thursday, after the release of weak U.S. pending home sales data dampened optimism sparked by strong U.S. economic reports released earlier in the day.

The U.S. National Association of Realtors said its pending home sales index fell 2.4% last month, missing expectations for an increase of 0.3%. The index reading at 108.5 is the second lowest this year after January's 105.4.

Official data earlier showed that the third estimate of U.S. second quarter gross domestic product showed growth of 1.4%, revised from the previous reading of a 1.1% expansion. Analysts had expected a growth rate of 1.3%.

Separately, the U.S. Department of Labor said initial jobless claims in the week ending September 24 increased by 3,000 to 254,000 from the previous week's total of 251,000. Analysts expected jobless claims to rise by 9,000 to 260,000 last week.

EUR/USD edged up 0.17% to 1.1238.

Official data on Thursday showed that the number of unemployed people in Germany rose by 1,000 this month, disappointing expectations for a 5,000 drop.

On a more positive note, another report showed that Germany's consumer price index edged up 0.1$ in September, beating expectations for a flat reading.

USD/JPY gained 0.83% to trade at 101.53, the highest since September 21.

Demand for the safe-haven yen weakened after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said it agreed to reduce output to a range of 32.5-33.0 million barrels per day, a reduction of 0.7-2.2% from OPEC estimates of its current output at 33.24 million bpd. It was the first such deal since 2008.

However, the enthousiasm sparked by the deal was short-lived due to skepticism among analysts regarding the limited details of the agreement.

The Japanese currency was also under pressure after Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda earlier said that the central bank will pursue the most appropriate yield curve to achieve its 2% inflation target.

He added that the BoJ is ready to ease policy further by cutting its short and long-term interest rate targets or by expanding asset purchases.

The pound edged lower, with GBP/USD down 0.41% to 1.2966, while USD/CHF slid 0.39% to 0.9672.

Markets shrugged off a report by the Bank of England on Thursday showing that net lending to individuals rose by £4.5 billion in August, compared to expectations for a £4.0 billion increase and after a £3.8 billion gain the previous month.

The Australian dollar remained weaker, with AUD/USD down 0.30% at 0.7668, after hitting a three-week high of 0.7711 overnight, while NZD/USD held steady at 0.7279.

Elsewhere, USD/CAD edged up 0.11% to 1.3095, off four-day lows of 1.3049 reached earlier.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was steady at 95.38, not far from the previous session's one-week high of 95.66. 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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