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Dollar Exhibits Mixed Trend Against Major Rivals

The U.S. dollar came off early lows, and after staying positive for a while around mid afternoon, faltered and remained weak later on in the session on Thursday, as traders weighed the prospects for a potential trade agreement between the U.S. and China before this weekend.

The dollar index, which rallied to 97.52 by mid afternoon from an early low of 97.04, later dropped to 97.28, trailing its previous close by about 0.13%.

Against the euro, the dollar was up marginally at 1.1127, after having weakened to 1.1155 a euro earlier in the day.

The euro gained earlier in the day after European Central Bank Chief Christine Lagarde suggested that there were encouraging signs of stabilization in the euro area growth slowdown and a moderate increase in inflation pressures despite continued global growth worries.

The ECB retained the main refinancing rate at its record low 0% and the deposit rate at -0.50% after the latest Governing Council meeting. The marginal lending facility rate was kept unchanged at 0.25%.

The bank also retained its forward guidance on both interest rates and asset purchases.

Data from Eurostat showed that Eurozone industrial production decreased for the second straight month, largely driven by weak capital goods output in October.

The pound sterling was down at $1.3167, but was well off the day's low of $1.3055 touched around mid afternoon.

The Yen weakened to 109.30 a dollar from around 108.45 a dollar, as risk appetite increased amid hopes the U.S. will delay imposing an additional 15% tariff on $160 billion worth of Chinese goods.

The dollar was weak against the Aussie. At 0.6906, the Aussie-Dollar pair was up more than 0.4% from previous close.

Swiss franc and Canadian loonie were weak against the dollar. While the dollar was up marginally at 1.3183 against the loonie, it was up by about 0.2% against Swiss franc, at 0.9852.

On the trade front, U.S. President Donald Trump expressed optimism about a potential U.S.-China trade deal.

"Getting VERY close to a BIG DEAL with China. They want it, and so do we!" Trump said in a post on Twitter Thursday morning.

Trump has repeatedly expressed optimism about a trade deal but has previously suggested China wants to reach an agreement more than the U.S.

In U.S. economic news, data from the Labor Department showed initial jobless claims surged up to 252,000, an increase of 49,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 203,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to edge up to 213,000.

With the much bigger than expected increase, jobless claims reached their highest level since hitting 257,000 in September of 2017.

Another report from the Labor Department showed U.S. producer prices came in unchanged in the month of November.

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