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Dollar Gaining Ground Ahead Of Jobs Report


The dollar is up against all of its major rivals Thursday afternoon. Concerns over a potential trade war have eased after White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders suggested Canada, Mexico and other countries may be exempted from forthcoming tariffs on steel and aluminum.

A day ahead of the release of the more closely watched monthly jobs, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing a bigger than expected rebound in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended March 3rd.

The Labor Department said initial jobless claims climbed to 231,000, an increase of 21,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 210,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to rise to 220,000.

The European Central Bank moved closer to exiting its massive monetary stimulus as it dropped the easing bias on asset purchases from its forward guidance, as sought by some policymakers in previous sessions, while leaving the key interest rates unchanged.

ECB President Mario Draghi said that the Governing Council's latest decision to drop the easing bias on asset purchases was taken unanimously.

Unusually vocal on global trade, Draghi said disputes must be discussed and solved in a multilateral framework, adding the warning that unilateral decisions were dangerous. The ECB Chief also noted that the immediate spillover of US import tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum are unlikely to be that big.

The dollar has climbed to around $1.23 against the Euro Thursday afternoon, from a low of $1.2445.

German factory orders declined at the fastest pace in a year in January on weaker domestic as well as foreign demand. New orders in manufacturing dropped 3.9 percent month-on-month in January, reversing a revised 3 percent rise in December, figures from Destatis revealed Thursday.

This was the biggest decline since January, when orders decreased 4.8 percent. Orders were forecast to fall moderately by 1.8 percent.

The buck has risen to around $1.38 against the pound sterling Thursday afternoon, from an early low of $1.3909.

The greenback slide to an early low of Y105.890 against the Japanese Yen Thursday, but has since rebounded to around Y106.190.

Japan's gross domestic product advanced a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent on quarter in the fourth quarter of 2017, the Cabinet Office said in Thursday's revision. That exceeded expectations for an increase of 0.2 percent after last month's preliminary reading suggested a gain of 0.1 percent.

Japan had a current account surplus of 607.4 billion yen in January, the Ministry of Finance said on Thursday. That exceeded forecasts for a surplus of 437.4 billion yen following the 797.2 billion yen surplus in December.

A measure of peoples' assessment of the Japanese economy declined unexpectedly in February to the lowest level in ten months, survey figures from the Cabinet Office showed Thursday. The current index of Economy Watchers' survey dropped to 48.6 in February from 49.9 in January.

Meanwhile, economists had expected the index to improve to 50.5.

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