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Forex - Dollar steady to lower ahead of U.S. data

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Shutterstock photo - - The dollar was steady to lower against a basket of other major currencies on Friday, as Thursday's downbeat jobless claims data continued to weigh and as investors eyed the release of additional U.S. economic reports later in the trading session.

The greenback remained under pressure after the U.S. Labor Department on Thursday said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending August 9 increased by 21,000 to 311,000 from the previous week's revised total of 290,000.

Market participants were looking ahead to upcoming U.S. reports on manufacturing activity in New York state and industrial output, as well as preliminary data on consumer sentiment for further indications on the strength of the economic recovery.

EUR/USD rose 0.19% to 1.3391, but gains were capped after preliminary data on Thursday showed the euro area economy failed to grow in the three months to June.

The data indicated that the economic recovery in the euro area is losing momentum, adding to pressure on the European Central Bank to do more to shore up growth after it cut rates to record lows in June.

The dollar was steady against the yen, with USD/JPY at 102.52, but lower against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF slipping 0.19% to 0.9049.

The pound held steady, still close to four month lows, with GBP/USD at 1.6694.

Sterling showed little reaction after official data showed, in a second estimate, that U.K. gross domestic product grew 0.8% in the second quarter, in line with market expectations.

Year-on-year, the U.K. GDP expanded at a rate of 3.2%, compared to expectations for 3.1% growth.

But demand for the pound remained under pressure after the Bank of England cut its wage growth forecast for this year in half on Wednesday and said that the rate of pay growth would be a key factor in determining how quickly interest rates will rise.

The Canadian dollar was near two-week highs, with USD/CAD down 0.07% to 1.0895 as markets eyed a revised Canadian employment report for July, due to be released later in the day after Statistics Canada announced Tuesday that a statistical error in the report had come to light and a review had been launched.

Last Friday, Canada's statistics agency said that the economy had added only 200 jobs last month, falling far short of expectations for jobs growth of 20,000.

AUD/USD was up 0.12% to 0.9330, while NZD/USD was almost unchanged at 0.8493.

The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, edged down 0.11% to 81.55. 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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