The greenback traded little changed versus major currencies on Thursday after mixed data on U.S. trade and jobless claims failed to give investors strong reasons to move the currency.
The single currency briefly came under pressure after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the first priority for Greece was to win back the confidence of financial markets. Euro dipped to 1.3621 in European morning on that news but renewed buying interest emerged there and contained its intra-day weakness. In NY morning, it rose briefly above Wednesday' high of 1.3680 to 1.3688 after the release of U.S. jobless claims which was only slightly less than expected. U.S. jobless claims came in at 432,000 versus the expectation of 460,000. However, profit-taking offers swiftly emerged there and pressured price to around 1.3626 before rebounding again in NY afternoon due to broad-based dollar weakness.
Versus the Japanese yen, the dollar remained under pressure on Thursday initially after China released its 16-month high inflation data. China's February consumer-price index accelerated from the year-earlier month to a higher-than-expected pace of 2.7%, traders bought the yen boardly and cut risky positions in higher-yielding currencies with the expectation that the China central bank would raise interest rates to curb economic growth. The pair was soft in the entire Asian morning and reached an intra-day low of 90.20. However, weakness was limited as the market took the view that the economic recovery in Asia remains on track, keeping investors' appetite for riskier currencies intact and the greenback staged a strong rebound to 90.72 (11 pips below yesterday high of 90.83) in European morning. U.S trade deficit for January shrank to $37.29B and trader took profit on the smaller-than-expected deficit, causing the greenback to retreat before staging a rebound.
The Swiss franc weakened from its strongest level in a year against the euro after SNB said it will slow the currency’s appreciation to protect Switzerland’s economic recovery. The euro rose from 1-year low of 1.4602 to an intra-day high of 1.4631 against the Swiss franc after SNB kept its rate unchanged at 0.25% and released the above-mentioned comments.
Economic data to be released on Friday include New Zealand retail sales, Japan industrial production, capacity utilization, Germany WPI, E.U. Industrial production, Canada unemployment rate, US retail sales, University of Michigan survey and business inventories.