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Dollar Turns Weak Against Other Major Currencies

The U.S. dollar turned weak against most of its peers on Thursday, reversing recent gains, as data showed an increase in jobless claims and a bigger than expected jump in import prices.

Data from the Labor Department showed initial jobless claims edged up to 861,000 in the week ended February 13th, an increase of 13,000 from the previous week's revised level of 848,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to dip to 765,000 from the 793,000 originally reported for the previous week.

Another data from the Labor Department showed import prices surged up by 1.4% in January after climbing by an upwardly revised 1% in December. Economists had expected import prices to jump by 1% compared to the 0.9% advance originally reported for the previous month.

A report from the Commerce Department showed housing starts pulled back by much more than expected in the month of January, tumbling by 6% to an annual rate of 1.580 million from a revised December estimate of 1.680 million.

Meanwhile, a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said manufacturing activity in Philadelphia area saw continued growth in the month of February, although the pace of growth slowed from the previous month.

The dollar index is down 90.55, down 0.45% from previous close.

Against the Euro, the dollar weakened to $1.2093, losing about 0.4%. The European Central Bank's minutes from the latest meeting showed that the Governing Council is prepared to adjust all of its instruments, including the deposit facility rate, to ensure that inflation moved toward its target in a sustained manner.

Members broadly agreed that there was no room for complacency and that the Governing Council had to continue to stand ready and use all of its instruments, if required, to ensure a robust convergence of inflation towards its goal, the minutes from the bank's January 20-21 meeting showed.

The Pound Sterling was stronger against the dollar, fetching $1.3975 a unit, more than 0.8% up from Wednesday's close of $1.3863.

The Yen firmed up to 105.67 a dollar, gaining nearly 0.2% from 105.88 a dollar.

The Australian dollar is gaining 0.25% with the AUD-USD pair quoting at 0.7770, easing from 0.7751. The jobless rate in Australia came in at a seasonally adjusted 6.4% in January, data from Australian Bureau of Statistics said. That was beneath expectations for 6.5% and down from 6.6% in December.

The Swiss franc firmed up to 0.8960 from 0.8989. Data from the Federal Customs Administration showed Switzerland's exports grew by a real 5.7% month-on-month in January, reversing a 5.9% decline recorded in the previous month. In November, exports rose 5.3%.

The Loonie gained more than 0.3% against the dollar, firming up to C$1.2676 from C$1.2702. Data from ADP showed private businesses in Canada shed 231,200 jobs in January, after a revised 338,200 rise in December. Market had expected a job loss of about 14,100.

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