Thursday in early New York trading, the US dollar edged slightly down against its major opponents as the Commerce Department's final report on fourth quarter gross domestic product showed that the U.S. economy contracted a little faster than previously estimated. The greenback dropped from a 2-day high against the yen and extended its recent downtrend versus the rest of majors.
The report showed that GDP fell by a revised 6.3 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the preliminary estimate of a 6.2 percent decrease. Economists had been expecting GDP to be revised to show a somewhat steeper 6.6 percent contraction.
At the same time, the U.S. Labor Department announced that initial jobless claims rose to 652,000 for the week ended March 20th, compared to the previous week's level of 644,000. Also, people continuing to collect unemployment rose to 5.560 million in the most recent data, compared to the previous mark of 5.438 million.
The dollar eased to 98.04 against the yen by 8:55 am ET, from a 2-day high of 98.53 hit around 7:00 am. The dollar-yen pair, which closed Wednesday's New York trading at 97.56, is currently trading at 98.27. In near-term, the pair is likely to find support near the 97.8 level.
The yen declined in the morning after the Bank of Japan report showed that corporate service prices index in Japan dropped 2.6 percent on year in February to a reading of 92.1. On a monthly basis, corporate service process inched higher by 0.2 percent.
The domestic corporate goods price index was down 1.1 percent on year, the data showed, posting an index score of 105.0. On month, CGPI was off 0.4 percent.
Against the 16-nation currency, the greenback dropped as low as 1.3641 before gaining some ground by 8:55 am ET. The euro-buck pair that closed Wednesday's North American deals at 1.3584 is currently trading near 1.36.
In economic news from the euro area, the German GfK consumer confidence report for April, French March consumer confidence index, Italian March business confidence and trade balance data for February, Euro-zone M3 money supply for February, which were released today likely influenced the euro.
A survey from the GfK market research group showed that German consumer confidence for April stood at 2.4 points, down from a revised value of 2.5 points in March. Economists were expecting a reading of 2.5 for April.
Economic expectations in March dropped 4.9 points to minus 32.8, while income expectations remained virtually stable. The index measuring propensity to buy stood at 13.9 points in March, which was 24 points above the level recorded at the same time in the previous year.
The greenback also showed some weakness against its alpine opponent on Thursday morning in New York. Paring its early European session's gains, the greenback eased to 1.1208 against the Swiss franc by 8:55 am Eastern Time and leveled off thereafter. The greenback-franc pair that closed 1.1215 at late New York deals on Wednesday is currently quoted at 1.1226.
The greenback drifted slightly lower to 1.4637 against the pound by 8:55 am Eastern Time Thursday but showing lack of direction thereafter. The cable that closed Wednesday's New York session at 1.4555 is currently trading at 1.459.
The pound eased in the early morning after a report showed that UK's retail sales dropped 1.9% in February from the previous month, while economists were expecting a monthly 0.4% decrease. From the previous year, retail sales volume rose 0.4% in February, which was the lowest growth since September 1995. Annual growth stood below 2.5% increase expected by economists.
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