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Forex - EUR/USD eases from session highs after U.S. data

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Shutterstock photo - The euro eased back from session highs against the U.S. dollar on Thursday, after data showed that U.S. jobless claims hit a five-year low last week, while U.S. housing starts rose at the fastest pace in four years in December.

EUR/USD pulled away from 1.3377, the pair's highest since Tuesday, to hit 1.3353 during U.S. morning trade, still up 0.49% for the day.

The pair was likely to find support at 1.3269, the session low and resistance at 1.3403, the high of January 14 and an 11-month high.

The U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits last week fell by 37,000 to a seasonally adjusted five-year low of 335,000, compared to expectations for a decline of 7,000 to 365,000.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said U.S. housing starts jumped by 12.1% in December to an annual unit rate of 0.954 million, the highest level since 2008, compared to expectations for a 3.3% increase to 0.890 million.

A separate report showed that the Philly Fed's manufacturing index fell to minus 5.8 in January from 4.6 the previous month, compared to expectations for a reading of 5.8.

The euro hit session highs earlier after an auction of Spanish government met with strong investor demand and saw borrowing costs fall.

Spain's Treasury sold EUR4.5 billion worth of debt, in line with the full targeted amount.

Demand was strong, with bids exceeding supply 2.3 times versus a "bid-to-cover" ratio of 2.59 at a previous auction.

The euro was at nine-month highs against the pound with EUR/GBP up 0.69% to 0.8358 and was close to 20-month highs against the yen, with EUR/JPY jumping 1.58% to 119.29.

The yen weakened as renewed expectations for more aggressive easing steps by the Bank of Japan at next Tuesday's policy meeting weighed.

Elsewhere, the ECB's monthly report said earlier that it expected economic weakness in the euro zone to continue this year, but added that the economy should begin to recover gradually later in the year. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.

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