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Dollar moves higher vs. rivals after U.S. data

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Shutterstock photo - The dollar moved higher against the other major currencies on Thursday after U.S. data on housing and employment reinforced the view that the economic recovery is picking up.

During U.S. morning trade, the dollar rose to fresh session highs against the yen, with USD/JPY up 0.78% to 98.46.

The National Association of Realtors said its pending home sales index rose by 6.7% in May, blowing past expectations for a 1% gain.

The NAR said pending home sales rose 12.5% on a year over year basis last month, above expectations for an 8.3% increase.

Earlier Thursday, official data showed that U.S. jobless claims fell broadly in line with expectations last week.

The Department of Labor said the number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week fell by 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 346,000, compared to expectations for a drop of 10,000 to 345,000.

A separate report showed that U.S. personal spending was up 0.3% in May, in line with expectations.

Investors had scaled back expectations that the Federal Reserve will start tapering bond purchases this year following a downward revision to U.S. first quarter growth on Wednesday.

The Commerce Department revised down first quarter growth to an annualized 1.8% from an initial estimate for 2.4% growth.

Elsewhere, the euro erased gains against the dollar, with EUR/USD dipping 0.03% to 1.3008, after rising to highs of 1.3088 earlier in the session.

Sentiment on the single currency remained fragile after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said Wednesday that monetary policy will remain accommodative for the foreseeable future.

Earlier Thursday, official data showed that German jobless claims unexpectedly fell by 12,000 in June from the previous month, while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.8%.

The dollar rose to fresh three-week highs against the pound, with GBP/USD down 0.59% to 1.5222.

The pound weakened after revised data showed that the U.K. economy expanded at an annual rate of 0.3% in the first quarter, down from a preliminary estimate of 0.6% growth. The quarterly rate of growth remained unrevised at 0.3%.

The dollar extended gains against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF climbing 0.44% to 0.9473.

The greenback moved higher against its Australian, New Zealand and Canadian counterparts, with AUD/USD slipping 0.10% to 0.9264, NZD/USD down 0.22% to 0.7772 and USD/CAD gaining 0.33% to trade at 1.0501.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, climbed 0.22% to 83.39. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.

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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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