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Dollar remains broadly lower after U.S. jobless claims

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Shutterstock photo - The dollar remained broadly lower against the other major currencies on Thursday after official data showed that the number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. rose unexpectedly last week.

During European afternoon trade, the dollar was lower against the euro, with EUR/USD rising 0.38% to 1.3027, down from session highs of 1.3206.

The Department of Labor said the number of people filing for initial jobless benefits last week rose by 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 360,000, compared to expectations for a drop of 4,000 to 340,000.

The dollar fell against all the major currencies earlier Thursday as comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke saw investors reassess expectations over the timing of a possible reduction to the bank's easing program.

Bernanke said the Fed will continue to maintain accommodative monetary policy for the foreseeable future, citing low levels of inflation and the high unemployment rate. The bank will not raise interest rates until the U.S. unemployment rate hits 6.5% the Fed chief said.

The comments came after the minutes of the central bank's June policy meeting showed that Fed policymakers remain divided over when to begin tapering its USD85 billion-a-month asset purchase program.

Around half of Fed policymakers believe the bank should start to scale back bond purchases by the end of the year, while many others believe the labor market still remains too weak.

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank's monthly bulletin said Thursday that the extended period of time the bank expects interest rates to remain at present or lower levels is "flexible" and indicated that further rate cuts are possible.

Elsewhere, the dollar was weaker against the pound, with GBP/USD up 0.48% to 1.5086, after hitting session highs of 1.5194.

The dollar was down against the yen, with USD/JPY sliding 0.36% to 99.32, after falling as low as 98.28 earlier.

The yen was boosted after the Bank of Japan left monetary policy on hold following its policy setting meeting on Thursday, in a widely anticipated decision.

The BoJ also upgraded its assessment of the economy, saying it is starting to moderately recover.

The dollar was lower against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF down 0.65% to 0.9521.

The greenback was mixed against its Australian, New Zealand and Canadian counterparts, with AUD/USD easing up 0.10% to 0.9182, NZD/USD dipping 0.03% to 0.7832 and USD/CAD dropping 0.37% to 1.0426.

In Australia, official data showed that the economy added 10,300 jobs in June, confounding expectations for a 2,500 decline. However, the unemployment rate ticked up to 5.7% last month, the highest level since September 2009, from 5.6% in May.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.98% to 83.36. - 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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