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U.S. Dollar Regains Ground On Final Day Of 2020

After seeing early weakness, the value of the U.S. dollar moved higher over the course of the final day of trading of 2020 on Thursday.

The U.S. dollar index recovered from an early move to the downside on the day, rising by 0.2 percent to 89.89.

The greenback is trading at 103.26 yen versus the 103.19 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Wednesday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.2222 compared to yesterday's $1.2298.

The dollar may have benefited from bargain hunting following recent weakness, as traders picked up the safe-haven currency at lower levels heading into the New Year.

On the economic front, the Labor Department released a report unexpectedly showing a modest drop in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended December 26th.

The Labor Department said initial jobless claims edged down to 787,000, a decrease of 19,000 from the previous week's revised level of 806,000.

The dip surprised economists, who had expected jobless claims to rise to 833,000 from the 803,000 originally reported for the previous month.

"We think that holiday noise and uncertainty about extensions of benefits may have held down claims last week," said Nancy Vanden Houten, Lead U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics.

She added, "The risk is for a rise in claims in the weeks ahead now that emergency programs have been extended and an additional $300 in weekly benefits is being provided."

Following the holiday weekend, economic data may attract attention next week, with traders likely to keep an eye on the monthly jobs data along with reports on manufacturing and service sector activity.

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