The U.S. dollar recovered some ground after sliding in the Asian session, but was largely struggling to score over its major counterparts on Thursday.
Dovish comments from Fed officials weighed on the U.S. currency. Speaking on Wednesday to the Economic Club of Washington, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reiterated that the Fed would only begin winding down its asset purchases when the economy made substantial progress towards its goals.
Powell also signaled that tapering would happen “well before” the U.S. central bank starts considering raising interest rates.
Data released by the Labor Department showed first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits pulled back by much more than anticipated in the week ended April 10th, tumbling to 576,000, a decrease of 193,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 769,000.
Economists had expected jobless claims to decline to 700,000 from the 744,000 originally reported for the previous week.
A report from the Commerce Department showed retail sales skyrocketed by 9.8% in March after tumbling by a revised 2.7% in February. Economists had expected retail sales to surge up by 5.9% compared to the 3% slump originally reported for the previous month.
Separate reports released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia on Thursday showed faster growth in regional manufacturing activity in the month of April.
The dollar index, which slid to 91.49, rallied to 91.75 around noon, but eased a bit subsequently and was last seen at 91.66, down slightly from previous close.
Against the Euro, the dollar firmed up to $1.1967, gaining about 0.12%.
The Pound Sterling was slightly firmer against the dollar, fetching $1.3783 a unit.
The Yen firmed up to 108.73 a dollar, gaining nearly 0.2%.
The AUD-USD pair, at 0.7754, is giving the Aussie a gain of about 0.35% over the greenback.
The Swiss franc was up slightly at 0.9221 a dollar, while the Loonie was weaker by 0.2% at C$1.2545 a dollar. Data released by Statistics Canada showed producer prices in Canada increased 9.4% in March over the same month in the previous year.
Data released by Automatic Data Processing, Inc. showed private businesses in Canada created 634,800 jobs in March, after a revised 271,700 increase in February. The increase in March was the strongest in private employment since at least 2017.
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