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Dollar Losing Ground After Jobless Claims Disappoint

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The dollar is losing ground against all of its major rivals Thursday afternoon. Investors finally had some U.S. economic data to react to this morning, but were disappointed by the bigger than expected increase in weekly jobless claims.

First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits rose by more than expected in the week ended November 4th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday. The report said initial jobless claims climbed to 239,000, an increase of 10,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 229,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to edge up to 231,000.

Wholesale inventories in the U.S. rose in line with economist estimates in the month of September, the Commerce Department revealed in a report on Thursday. The report said wholesale inventories edged up by 0.3 percent in September after climbing by a revised 0.8 percent in August.

Economists had expected inventories to rise by 0.3 percent compared to the 0.9 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

Eurozone is set for its fastest growth in a decade this year, the European Commission said on Thursday, thanks to resilient private consumption, stronger global growth and falling unemployment.

In its Autumn Forecast, the executive arm of the European Union raised the euro area growth forecast for this year to 2.2 percent from 1.7 percent.

The EU growth forecast for this year was also lifted to 2.3 percent from 1.9 percent seen in the Spring projections.

The dollar has dropped to around $1.1650 against the Euro Thursday afternoon, from an early high of $1.1585.

Germany's trade surplus increased moderately in September as the pace of decrease in imports outpaced the fall in exports.

Exports dropped by a less-than-expected 0.4 percent month-on-month in September, reversing a 2 percent rise in August, data from Destatis revealed Thursday. Shipments were forecast to decline 1.3 percent.

At the same time, imports slid unexpectedly by 1 percent on a monthly basis, in contrast to a 0.8 percent increase in August. Economists had expected a 0.4 percent expansion for September.

As a result, the trade surplus rose slightly to EUR 21.8 billion from EUR 21.3 billion a month ago.

France's economy is forecast to grow at a steady pace in the fourth quarter, according to survey data from Bank of France. Gross domestic product is forecast to grow 0.5 percent in the fourth quarter, the same rate as seen in the third quarter.

The buck rose to an early high of $1.3084 against the pound sterling Thursday, but has since retreated to around $1.3165.

The house price balance in the United Kingdom narrowed in October, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said on Thursday - gaining just 1.0 percent. That missed forecasts for an increase of 4.0 percent and was down from 6.0 percent in September.

The greenback has tumbled to around Y113.150 against the Japanese Yen this afternoon, from an early high of Y114.068.

Overall bank lending in Japan was up 2.8 percent on year in October, the Bank of Japan said on Thursday, coming in at 518.090 trillion yen. That was shy of forecasts for an increase of 3.0 percent following the downwardly revised 2.9 percent gain in September.

The value of core machine orders in Japan plunged a seasonally adjusted 8.1 percent on month in September, the Cabinet Office said on Thursday, standing at 1.027 trillion yen. That missed expectations for a decline of 2.0 percent following the 3.4 percent gain in August.

Japan had a current account surplus of 2.271 trillion yen in September, the Ministry of Finance said on Thursday. That missed forecasts for a surplus of 2.363 trillion yen and was down from 2.380 trillion yen in August.

A measure of peoples' assessment of the Japanese economy strengthened unexpectedly in October to the strongest level in more than three-and-a-half years, survey figures from the Cabinet Office showed Thursday.

The current index of Economy Watchers' survey climbed to 52.2 in October from 51.3 in September. Meanwhile, economists had expected the index to fall to 50.8.

by RTT Staff Writer

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