The greenback fell broadly against major currencies after the release of weaker-than-expected U.S. durable goods and jobs data and geopolitical concern due to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan's former prime minister.
Durable-goods orders excluding transportation unexpectedly fell 0.7% in November after a revised 0.9% decline a month earlier. Initial jobless claims also unexpectedly increased by 1,000 to 349,000 in the week that ended Dec. 22. Although the December’s consumer confidence released later in the day came in at 88.6, higher than the expectation of 86.5 and the upwardly revised 87.8 in November, dollar continued to depreciate against major currencies due to the selloff in U.S. stocks. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index declined by 1% and Dow Jones index fell by 192 points. Oil and gold futures advanced, and U.S. Treasuries rallied.
The single currency rose from 1.4469 to 1.4640 versus the dollar after triggering sizeable stops above 1.4570. The U.S. currency started to decline against the Swiss franc as investors bought safe-haven assets after a suicide bombing killed Bhutto and the pair tumbled from 1.1524 to 1.1375 on Thursday. The British pound also rose from 1.9828 to 1.9966 versus the dollar, however, sterling tumbled to a multi-year low of 0.7341 per euro.
Interest-rate futures on Thursday showed a 78% chance that the Fed will reduce its benchmark interest rate a quarter-percentage point to 4% at its Jan. 30 meeting, compared with a 68 % chance on Wednesday.
Friday will see the release of Japan’s Tokyo CPI, industrial production and retail sales, U.K. Nationwide house price, U.S. Chicago PMI and new home sales data.