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Dollar Little Changed After Paring Early Losses


The dollar is turning in a mixed performance against its major rivals Thursday afternoon. After getting off to a weak start, the U.S. currency has pared its early losses. The buck remains slightly lower against the Euro and the British pound, but has turned positive against the Japanese Yen.

After reporting a slight drop in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the previous week, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing that initial jobless claims rebounded in the week ended April 15th.

The report said initial jobless claims climbed to 244,000, an increase of 10,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 234,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to rise to 242,000.

Results from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's manufacturing business outlook survey suggest that regional manufacturing activity continued to expand in April, but the pace of growth slowed by more than anticipated.

The Philly Fed said its index for current manufacturing activity in the region fell to 22.0 in April from 32.8 in March, although a positive reading indicates continued growth. Economists had expected the index to drop to 25.5.

Pointing to continued economic growth this year, the Conference Board released a report on Thursday showing a bigger than expected increase by its index of leading U.S. economic indicators in the month of March.

The Conference Board said its leading economic index rose by 0.4 percent in March after climbing by a revised 0.5 percent in February. Economists had expected the index to edge up by 0.2 percent compared to the 0.6 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

The dollar dropped to a 3-week low of $1.0777 against the Euro Thursday morning, but has since bounced back to around $1.0715, nearly unchanged for the day.

Eurozone consumer confidence improved for a second straight month in April, preliminary data from the European Commission showed Thursday. The flash consumer confidence index for April rose to -3.6 from -5 in March.

Eurozone construction output increased notably in February, after falling in the previous two months, figures from Eurostat showed Thursday. Construction output climbed a seasonally adjusted 6.9 percent month-on-month in February, reversing a 2.4 percent decrease in January, which was revised from a 2.3 percent drop reported earlier.

Germany's producer prices increased for the fifth consecutive month in March, though at a slower-than-expected pace, data from Destatis showed Thursday. The producer price index climbed at a steady rate of 3.1 percent year-over-year in March, just below the 3.2 percent rise expected by economists.

The buck slipped to a low of $1.2846 against the pound sterling Thursday, but has since rebounded to around $1.28.

The greenback dipped to an early low of Y108.715 against the Japanese Yen Thursday, but has since climbed to around Y109.400.

Japan posted a merchandise trade surplus of 614.722 billion yen in March, the Ministry of Finance said on Thursday, down 17.5 percent on year. The headline figure topped forecasts for a surplus of 605.6 billion yen following the upwardly revised 813.5 billion yen surplus in February.

by RTT Staff Writer

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