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Forex - Dollar index holds onto gains despite jobless claims report - - The dollar held onto gains against the other majors currencies on Thursday, despite the release of disappointing U.S. jobless claims data as investors paused amid ongoing concerns over Donald Trump's policies.

EUR/USD retreated 0.48% to 1.0698.

The U.S. Department of Labor said initial jobless claims in the week ending January 21 increased by 22,000 to 259,000 from the previous week's total of 237,000.

Analysts had expected jobless claims to rise by 13,000 from the original reading to 247,000 last week.

Investors were cautious after Trump on Wednesday ordered construction of a U.S.-Mexican border wall and punishment for cities shielding illegal immigrants.

In addition, Trump was expected to sign an executive order in the coming days to block the entry of refugees from Syria and suspend the entry of any immigrants from Muslim-majority Middle Eastern and African countries.

The dollar has been under heavy pressure since Donald Trump's inauguration last Friday amid concerns over a lack of clarity on his economic policies and fears that his protectionist trade stance could hit corporate profits and act as a drag on growth.

Elsewhere, GBP/USD slid 0.45% to 1.2578, pulling away from a six-week high of 1.2624 hit overnight.

The pound strengthened earlier, after the U.K. Office for National Statistics said gross domestic product grew by 0.6% in the three months to December, above forecasts of 0.5% and matching the rate of expansion seen the previous quarter.

On an annual basis, the economy grew by 2.2%, slightly faster than the 2.1% growth expected.

Sterling was also supported as the government was set to publish draft legislation later Thursday seeking parliament's approval to trigger Article 50 and begin Brexit talks.

USD/JPY advanced 0.79% to 114.19, while USD/CHF held steady at 0.9989.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars were weaker, with AUD/USD down 0.44% at 0.7542 and with NZD/USD retreating 0.74% to 0.7242.

Earlier Thursday, Statistics New Zealand reported that the consumer price index rose 0.4% in the fourth quarter of 2016, beating expectations for an uptick of 0.3%.

Year-on-year, consumer prices increased by 1.3% in the last quarter, more than the expected 1.2% gain.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD gained 0.36% to trade at 1.3118.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.47% at 100.38, off a seven-week trough of 99.77 hit overnight. 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.

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