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Forex - Dollar little changed vs. rivals after jobless claims

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Shutterstock photo - - The dollar was little changed against the other major currencies on Thursday, still hovering within close distance of an 11-month high after the release of lower than expected U.S. jobless claims and as the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest meeting continued to support.

In a report, the U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending August 16 decreased by 14,000 to 298,000 from the previous week's revised total of 312,000.

Analysts had expected jobless claims to fall by 12,000 to 300,000 last week.

The data came a day after the minutes of the Fed's July meeting showed that some officials believe the strengthening recovery and ongoing improvement in the labor market supports a move towards tightening monetary policy.

EUR/USD held steady, near 11-month lows at 1.3262 after data showed that activity in the euro zone's manufacturing sector slowed to a 13 month low in August, with the euro zone manufacturing purchasing managers' index down to 50.8 from 51.8 in July. Economists had forecast a decline to 51.3.

The region's services PMI slid to 53.5 from 54.2 in July, in line with forecasts.

Activity in Germany's factor sector slowed but remained solid, while manufacturing activity in France contracted for a sixth successive month.

The pound remained close to four-and-a-half month lows, with GBP/USD at 1.6588 after official data showed that U.K. retail sales rose 0.1% in July, disappointing expectations for an increase of 0.4%.

Retail sales for June were revised to a 0.2% gain from a previously estimated 0.1% rise.

The dollar held steady near four-and-a-half month highs against the yen, with USD/JPY at 103.78, while USD/CHF dipped 0.06% to 0.9129.

Data earlier showed that manufacturing activity in Japan accelerated in August, indicating that the economy is stabilizing after a sharp contraction in the second quarter, due to a sales tax hike.

In Switzerland, official data earlier showed that the trade surplus widened more than expected to 3.98 billion Swiss francs last month.

Meanwhile, AUD/USD was almost unchanged at 0.9289 and NZD/USD added 0.10% to 0.8380, while USD/CAD slipped 0.15% to 1.0954.

The export-related currencies came under pressure after a report showed that the preliminary reading of China's HSBC manufacturing index fell to a three month low of 50.3 in August from 51.7 in July and well short of forecasts for 51.5.

The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.01% at 82.28, close to the highest level since September. 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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