The dollar ended mixed against major currencies on Thursday as investors tended to close positions and stay on the sidelines a day before the release of key U.S. jobs data. The Labour Department reported that U.S. weekly jobless claims fell to a 10-month low of 512,000, well below the economists' forecast of 523,000 and revised 532,000 for the previous week. The greenback rebounded strongly against the Japanese yen on renewed risk appetite as the decline in weekly jobless claims provided more evidence that recovery is still in progress.
Earlier in Asian session, euro retreated on long-liquidation. The single currency rose from its intra-day low of 1.4811 after European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet said that the latest eurozone economic data showed improvement in growth in the second half of 2009 and saw gradual recovery in 2010. ECB left interest rates unchanged at 1.0% and the single currency hit a one-week high at 1.4918 in New York morning before easing. Eurozone retail sales dropped unexpectedly by 0.7% m/m and 3.6% y/y in September versus economists' forecast of 0.2% rise and a fall of 3.6% y/y respectively.
The British pound rallied against the greenback after BoE's expansion of its quantitative easing program by 25 billion pounds to 200 billion pounds to help kick-start Britain's recession-hit economy. BoE also left interest rates unchanged at a record low of 0.5% as widely expected. Sterling dropped earlier to 1.6467 versus the dollar, however, the pair then shot up to 1.6637 after BoE's announcement as the QE expansion was less than many investors had expected. Cable later eased from there and traded sideways in New York afternoon. U.K. industrial and manufacturing production data came in at 1.6% and 1.7% respectively versus economists' forecast of 1.0% and 1.0%.
Data to be released on Friday include Japan leading indicators, U.K. PPI, German factory orders, Switzerland unemployment rate, Canada unemployment rate, U.S. non-farm payrolls, unemployment rate and wholesales inventories. Economists expect U.S. unemployment rate will go up to 9.9% while non-farm payrolls will be reduced by 175,000.