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Forex - EUR/USD gains on soft U.S. jobless claims report

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Shutterstock photo - - The euro firmed against the dollar on Thursday on news that more in the U.S. sought first-time joblessness assistance last week than expected, though gains were limited as markets viewed the overall labor market as still on the mend despite hiccups here and there.

In U.S. trading, EUR/USD was up 0.08% at 1.3375, up from a session low of 1.3349 and off a high of 1.3408.

The pair was likely to find support at 1.3336, Tuesday's low, and resistance at 1.3415, Wednesday's high.

The dollar weakened broadly after the U.S. Labor Department 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.

Analysts had expected jobless claims to rise by 5,000 to 295,000 last week.

The numbers softened the dollar by reminding investors the Federal Reserve won't rush to raise interest rates after it closes its monthly bond-buying program, which is seen taking place around October.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen has said monetary policy must address slackness in the labor market marked by soft wage growth and too many long-term unemployed and part-time workers.

Still, the dollar didn't plummet, as a longer term analysis of weekly jobless claims reports and other labor-market indicators point to an improving U.S. economy.

Soft euro area data helped offset the U.S. initial jobless claims numbers.

The euro zone's gross domestic product was flat in the three months to June, according to Eurostat, the European Union's statistical office, missing market expectations for 0.1% growth. The euro zone's economy grew 0.2% in the preceding quarter.

Year-on-year, the euro zone GDP expanded by 0.7%, in line with expectations after expanding at a rate of 0.9% in the first quarter.

Germany's economy shrank by 0.2% in the three month to June, the first drop since 2012 and worse than forecasts for a contraction of 0.1%.

French GDP was flat in the second quarter, the second consecutive quarter of stagnation.

Tepid inflation data capped the single currency's advance over the greenback as well.

Eurostat reported earlier that the euro area's consumer price index rose by 0.4% on year in July, in line with expectations and unchanged from a preliminary estimate.

The rate remains firmly below the European Central Bank's target of near but just below 2%.

Month-over-month, consumer prices declined 0.7% last month, surpassing forecasts for a 0.6% drop.

Core CPI, which excludes food, energy, alcohol, and tobacco costs rose by a 0.8% in July, meeting forecasts and unchanged from an initial estimate.

Elsewhere, the euro was up against the pound, with EUR/GBP up 0.04% at 0.8011, and up against the yen, with EUR/JPY up 0.10% at 137.02.

On Friday, the U.S. is to round up the week with reports on manufacturing activity in New York state and industrial output, as well as preliminary data on consumer sentiment. 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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