The dollar advanced versus its major European counterparts Thursday morning in New York but ticked lower against the yen as traders braced for another round of key economic data, including the weekly jobless claims report.

The Labor Department report on the number of individuals claiming unemployment benefits during the week ended April 11th is scheduled to be released at 8:30 AM ET on Thursday.

Jobless claims declined by much more than analysts had expected in the week ended April 4th compared to an upwardly revised reading for the previous week.

The report showed that jobless claims fell to 654,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 674,000.

A report on housing starts, which refer to the number of privately-owned new homes on which construction has been started over some period, and building permits, which is the number of permits issued for new housing units each month, is slated to be released at 8:30 AM ET on Thursday. Economists estimate housing starts of 550,000 for March.

The results of the Philadelphia Federal Reserve's manufacturing survey are due out at 10 AM ET. Economists expect the diffusion index of current activity to show a reading of -32 for April.

Prior to the data deluge, the dollar strengthened against the euro, extending its modest gains from the previous session. The dollar rose to 1.3128, its highest level since Monday, amid the release of eurozone inflation figures.

Eurozone annual inflation was confirmed at 0.6% in March, which was the lowest rate since the launch of euro ten years ago, a revised report from the Eurostat showed Thursday. Consumer price inflation eased from February's 1.2% and 3.6% in the year ago period. Monthly inflation stood at 0.4%, in line with economists' expectations.

Despite a slew of dismal economic news out of the eurozone, rhetoric from key European Central Bank officials continues to signal a hesitance to further cut interest rates.

The dollar was able to claw back some of its steep losses from earlier in the week versus the sterling, rebounding to 1.4850 from yesterday's 3-month low of 1.5068.

Overall retail sales in the United Kingdom were higher in March than their level of one year ago, but same-store sales were lower.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) reported Thursday that overall sales in March were up 0.6 percent from the year before.

The dollar drifted lower versus the yen Thursday, easing 98.80 after hovering just below the 100 mark during the previous session. The buck has leveled off since hitting a 4-month high of 101.43 last week.

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