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The U.S. dollar traded mixed to lower against the most major currencies after the weaker-than-expected number of initial jobless claims from the U.S. The number of initial jobless claims in the week ending January 03 in the U.S. fell by 4,000 to 294,000 from 298,000 in the previous week. Analysts had expected the number of initial jobless claims to decrease to 291,000.
These figures are adding to signs a strengthening labour market.
The number of initial jobless claims has remained below 300,000 for 17 straight weeks.
The greenback remained supported by yesterday's ADP labour market data. Private sector in the U.S. added 241,000 jobs in December, according the ADP report on Wednesday.
The Fed released minutes of its December 16-17 meeting on Wednesday. Minutes showed that the Fed is unlikely to hike its interest rate before April.
The euro rose against the U.S. dollar. The European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said in a letter to a European Parliament member, Luke Ming Flanagan, on Thursday that the central bank is ready to take unconventional measures if needed, including purchase of government bonds.
German seasonal adjusted factory orders dropped 2.4% in November, missing expectations for a 0.6% decline, after a 2.9% increase in October. October's figure was revised up from a 2.5% gain.
That was the first decline in three months.
Domestic orders plunged 4.7% in November, while foreign orders fell 0.7%.
Retail sales in the Eurozone rose 0.6% in November, exceeding expectations for a 0.3% increase, after a 0.6% gain in October. October's figure was revised up from a 0.4% rise.
On a yearly basis, retail sales in the Eurozone surged 1.5% in November, beating expectations for a 1.1% gain, after a 1.6% increase in October. October's figure was revised up from a 1.4% gain.
Eurozone's producer price index fell 0.3% in November, missing expectations for a 0.2% decrease, after a 0.3% drop in October. October's figure was revised up from a 0.4% decline.
Political uncertainty in Greece still weighed on the euro.
The British pound traded higher against the U.S. dollar. The Bank of England (BoE) kept its interest rates unchanged at 0.5% and its asset purchase program unchanged at £375 billion. This decision was widely expected.
Analysts expect that the BoE will start to raise interest rate later this year. But the central bank might delay its interest rate hike because of low inflation and a slowdown of the economic growth in the Eurozone. The wage growth in the U.K. remained under pressure despite the growth in the three months to October.
The recent released UK's manufacturing, services and construction sectors' economic reports showed a slowdown in these sectors.
The Halifax house price index for the U.K. rose 0.9% in December, beating forecasts for a 0.3% gain, after a 0.5% increase in November. November's figure was revised up from a 0.4% rise.
On a yearly basis, the Halifax house price index for the U.K. climbed 7.8% in December, after a 8.1% rise in November. November's figure was revised down from a 8.2% gain.
The Canadian dollar traded mixed against the U.S. dollar after the weaker-than-expected Canadian new housing price index. Canada's new housing price index rose 0.1% in November, missing expectations for a 0.2% gain, after a 0.1% increase in October.
The New Zealand dollar increased against the U.S. dollar in the absence of any major market reports from New Zealand.
The Australian dollar traded higher against the U.S. dollar. In the overnight trading session, the Aussie rose against the greenback after the better-than-expected building permits data from Australia. Building approvals in Australia climbed 7.5% in November, beating expectations for a 2.7% decline, after a11.5% increase in October. October's figure was revised up from a 11.4% gain.
The Japanese yen traded higher against the U.S. dollar in the absence of any major market reports from Japan.
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