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Dollar Little Changed After Fed Minutes Released


The dollar is turning in a mixed performance against its major rivals Thursday afternoon, but remains little changed overall. The currency has had little reaction to the release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve's November policy meeting this afternoon.

Meanwhile, it was a rather active morning on the U.S. economic front. After reporting an unexpected uptick in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the previous week, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing another unexpected increase in initial jobless claims in the week ended November 24th.

The report said initial jobless claims climbed to 234,000, an increase of 10,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 224,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to edge down to 220,000.

Personal income and spending in the U.S. both increased by more than anticipated in the month of October, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Thursday.

The Commerce Department said personal income climbed by 0.5 percent in October after edging up by 0.2 percent in September. Economists had expected income to rise by 0.4 percent.

Additionally, the report said personal spending advanced by 0.6 percent in October after rising by a revised 0.2 percent in the previous month. Spending had also been expected to climb by 0.4 percent, matching the increase originally reported for September.

Pending home sales in the U.S. unexpectedly showed a substantial decrease in the month of October, according to a report released by the National Association of Realtors on Thursday.

NAR said its pending home sales index plunged by 2.6 percent to 102.1 in October after climbing by 0.7 percent to an upwardly revised 104.8 in September. With the steep drop, the index fell to its lowest level since mid-2014.

The sharp pullback surprised economists, who had expected pending home sales to rise by 0.5 percent, matching the increase originally reported for the previous month.

The dollar climbed to an early high of $1.1348 against the Euro Thursday, but has since retreated to around $1.1375.

Eurozone's economic sentiment weakened for an eleventh straight month in November, but the pace of decline was less than expected, helped by an improvement in morale in the industrial sector. The economic sentiment indicator fell to 109.5, which was the weakest reading since May 2017, when the score was 109, survey data from the European Commission showed on Thursday.

The October reading was revised to 109.7 from 109.8. Economists had forecast a score of 109.1 for November.

Germany's consumer price inflation slowed more-than-expected in November, preliminary data from the Federal Statistical Office showed on Thursday.

The consumer price index rose 2.3 percent year-on-year following a 2.5 percent increase in October, which was the highest in over a decade. Economists had expected 2.4 percent inflation for November. In September, inflation was 2.3 percent.

Germany's unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to a record low in November and the number of unemployed decreased more than expected, despite a weaker economy.

The seasonally adjusted jobless rate dropped to 5 percent from 5.1 percent in October, figures from the Federal Employment Agency showed on Thursday. Economists had expected the rate to remain unchanged.

Germany's employment level in October hit a record high since reunification and the ILO jobless rate eased from the previous month, data from the Federal Statistical Office showed on Thursday. The employment grew by 1.2 percent or 556,000 persons year-on-year to over 45.1 million.

The buck has risen to around $1.2775 against the pound sterling this afternoon, from an early low of $1.2850.

The greenback slid to a low of Y113.187 against the Japanese Yen Thursday, but has since bounced back to around Y113.515.

Retail sales in Japan were up a seasonally adjusted 1.2 percent on month in October, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said on Thursday. That exceeded expectations for an increase of 0.4 percent following the 0.2 percent decline in September.

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