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Forex - USD/JPY gains on solid U.S. weekly jobless claims

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Shutterstock photo - The dollar rose against the yen on Thursday after investors digested weekly U.S. jobless claims and concluded the numbers were still strong even if they came in slightly higher than expected.

In U.S. trading on Thursday, USD/JPY was trading at 98.56, up 0.89%, up from a session low of 97.59 and off a high of 98.91.

The pair was likely to find resistance at 99.15, the high from Aug. 5, and support at 96.92, Tuesday's low.

The Department of Labor reported earlier that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless claims in the U.S. last week rose by 13,000 to 336,000, slightly higher than forecasts for 330,000.

While the weekly jobless claims number came in higher than expected, the figure still remained close to 6-year lows, which gave the dollar some support against the yen.

The numbers also rekindled investors' sentiments that even though nobody knows what month the Federal Reserve will begin tapering its USD85 billion in monthly asset purchases, a start date will likely take place in the near future, either in September or December.

Asset purchases keep the greenback weak as long as they remain in place, and talk of their dismantling can bolster the currency.

The Fed said in the minutes of its July policy meeting released on Wednesday that most monetary authorities feel comfortable to begin tapering monthly bond purchases this year.

The yen, meanwhile, was down against the pound and down against the euro, with GBP/JPY up 0.41% and trading at 153.64 and EUR/JPY trading up 0.89% at 131.62.

Better-than-expected European and Chinese manufacturing gauges sent the yen falling by fueling demand for risk-on assets.

London-based Markit Economics reported earlier that its flash euro zone manufacturing purchasing managers' index rose to 51.3 in August from a final reading of 50.3 in July.

Analysts were expecting the index to come in at 50.8.

The flash euro zone services PMI rose to a 24-month high of 51.0 from 49.8 in July, better than market calls for a 50.2 reading.

Elsewhere, a preliminary reading of China's HSBC manufacturing PMI rose to a 4-month high of 50.1 in August from 47.7 in July.

Analysts were forecasting a 48.3 reading. - 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.

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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