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U.S. Dollar Showing A Lack Of Direction

Following an overnight advance, the value of the U.S. dollar has shown a lack of direction over the course of trading on Thursday.

The U.S. dollar index has bounced back and forth across the unchanged line and is currently up by 0.06 points or 0.1 percent at 95.98.

Currently, the U.S. dollar is trading at 115.07 yen versus the 114.95 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Wednesday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1326 compared to yesterday's $1.1349.

The choppy trading comes as currency traders seem reluctant to make significant bets going into the New Year's holidays.

In U.S. economic news, 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 25th.

The report said initial jobless claims dipped to 198,000, a decrease of 8,000 from the previous week's revised level of 206,000.

The slight pullback surprised economists, who had expected jobless claims to inch up to 208,000 from the 205,000 originally reported for the previous week.

A separate report from MNI Indicators growth in Chicago-area business activity picked back up in the month of December.

MNI Indicators said its Chicago business barometer rose to 63.1 in December from 61.8 in November, with a reading above 50 indicating growth. Economists had expected the business barometer to inch up to 62.0.

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