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Dollar Rises Against Peers

The U.S. dollar firmed up against most if its peers on Thursday amid growing uncertainty about a fiscal stimulus bill, and rising coronavirus cases across the world.

The currency markets were also reacting to a slew of economic data from around the world.

Uncertainty about an agreement on a stimulus deal grew after President Donald Trump accused congressional Democratic leaders of blocking a new economic relief deal.

"Just don't see any way Nancy Pelosi and Cryin' Chuck Schumer will be willing to do what is right for our great American workers, or our wonderful USA itself, on Stimulus," Trump posted to Twitter.

In U.S. economic news, data released by the Labor Department initial jobless claims fell to 787,000 in the week ended October 17th, a decrease of 55,000 from the previous week's revised level of 842,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to drop to 860,000 from the 898,000 originally reported for the previous week.

A report from the Conference Board showed a slowdown in the pace of growth by its reading on leading economic indicators. The Conference Board said its leading economic index climbed by 0.7% in September after surging up by a revised 1.4% in August.

The National Association of Realtors released a report showing a much bigger than expected spike in U.S. existing home sales in the month of September. The report said existing home sales soared by 9.4% to an annual rate of 6.54 million in September after jumping by 2% to a revised rate of 5.98 million in August.

The dollar index rose to 92.97, gaining nearly 0.4%.

Against the Euro, the dollar strengthened to $1.1813, up nearly 0.4%. According to preliminary figures from the European Commission, Eurozone consumer confidence weakened more-than-expected to its lowest level in five months in October. The flash consumer confidence index for the euro area dropped to -15.5 from -13.9 in September, the report said. Economists had expected a fall to -15.0.

The consumer confidence index for the EU also fell to a five-month low, down to -16.5 from -14.9 in the previous month. Both readings were below their long-term averages of -11.2 and -10.6, respectively.

The Pound Sterling was weaker by nearly 0.5%, fetching $1.3084, compared to $1.3147 Wednesday evening.

The Yen was weaker by about 0.3% at 104.89 a dollar, while the Aussie was little changed at 0.7117, after moving between 0.7085 and 0.7125.

The Swiss franc weakened to 0.9072 a dollar, giving up about 0.2%, while the Loonie was down slightly at 1.3136 a dollar.

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