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Dollar wobbles as euro soars to six-month highs

Investing.com -

Investing.com - The dollar slumped against a basket of major currencies on Thursday, weighed by a surge in the euro to six-month highs, as viewers' polls declared that Emmanuel Macron won a TV presidential debate against Marine Le Pen, increasing the likelihood of a Macron victory at the runoff vote on Sunday.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, fell by 0.56% to 98.70 by 13:17 EDT.

Despite, a somewhat hawkish statement from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday, the dollar eased from highs, after investors piled into the euro.

EUR/USD traded at $1.0976, up 0.83% while EUR/GBP rose 0.44% to 0.8497, after anti-EU candidate Marine Le Pen came off second best in the final debate against pro-EU candidate Emmanuel Macron ahead of the runoff vote for the French presidency, scheduled for Sunday.

Meanwhile, a mixed bag of U.S. economic data failed to lift dollar sentiment, as initial jobless claims fell more than expected while factory orders eased in March.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported that initial jobless claims decreased by 19,000 to 238,000 in the week ended April 29, well below economists' estimates.

The initial jobless claims report came a day ahead of a Nonfarm payrolls report expected to be released Friday at 08:30 EDT.

Elsewhere, The Commerce Department said factory orders edged up 0.2% in March, a significant slowdown from February's gain of 1.2%, and below forecasts of 0.4% rise.

Meanwhile, GBP/USD gained 0.40% to trade at $1.2919, after a bullish services PMI report quelled fears of a slowdown in the UK services sector, following the UK's vote to leave the European Union.

USD/JPY eased to 112.53, down 0.20% while USD/CAD traded at $1.3744, up 0.09%.

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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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