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Dollar trims losses after strong U.S. jobless claims, trade data

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Investing.com -

Investing.com - The dollar trimmed losses against a basket of other major currencies on Thursday, after data showed that the number of U.S. jobless claims fell to a nine-week low last week and that the U.S. trade deficit narrowed to the lowest level since 2009 in February.

In a report, the U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending March 28 declined by 20,000 to 268,000 from the previous week's total of 288,000. Analysts had expected initial jobless claims to fall by 3,000 to 285,000 last week.

Separately, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis said that the U.S. trade deficit narrowed to $34.44 billion in February from $42.68 billion in January, whose figure was revised from a previously reported deficit of $41.8 billion.

Analysts had expected the U.S. trade deficit to narrow to $41.2 billion in February.

Investors turned their attention to the U.S. jobs report due out on Friday, which was expected to support expectations for higher interest rates.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.39% to 98.15, off session lows of 97.94.

EUR/USD advanced 0.42% to 1.0807. The euro's gains were held in check however, as a deadlock over the Greek government's reform plans continued.

Athens will run out of cash later this month unless it can reach a compromise with its creditors on a program of economic reforms in time to unlock more bailout funds.

The pound pushed lower, with GBP/USD slipping 0.27% to 1.4784 after research firm Markit said the U.K. construction purchasing managers' index ticked down to 57.8 in March from February's four-month high of 60.1.

Economists had expected the index decline to 59.5.

All three areas of construction activity lost momentum in March, with a marked slowdown in civil engineering growth. Markit said uncertainty related to the forthcoming general election had encouraged some clients to delay spending decisions.

Elsewhere, the dollar was little changed against the yen, with USD/JPY at 119.77 but was still lower against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF retreating 0.42% to 0.9629.

The Australian was lower, with AUD/USD sliding 0.79% at 0.7537, while NZD/USD held steady at 0.7457.

Statistics Australia earlier reported that the country's trade deficit narrowed to A$1.26 billion in February from a revised deficit of A$1.00 billion in January. Analysts had expected the trade deficit to widen to A$1.300 billion in February.

USD/CAD edged up 0.12% to 1.2636 but the loonie remained supported as official data showed that Canada's trade deficit narrowed to C$0.98 billion in February from C$1.48 billion in January, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated deficit of C$2.45 billion.

Analysts had expected the trade deficit to hit C$1.80 billion in February.

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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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