RTTNews - The dollar was generally weaker versus other major Thursday, with most of its struggles coming prior to the release of a slew of disappointing economic data.

Retail sales unexpectedly fell 0.1 percent last month, according to data released Thursday by the Commerce Department. The government's cash for clunkers program gave a boost to auto sales, but many other sectors saw declines.

The figures point to continued weakness among consumers, who continue to hold back in the face of an uncertain economic environment.

The discouraging retail sales data reminded traders that the ongoing recovery will likely come in fits and starts. instilled a bit of risk aversion, which supported the safe have dollar.

Early in the day, the dollar fell to 1.4326 versus the euro, but managed to improve by a penny from there. On a longer term basis, the dollar is hovering near an 8-month low of 1.4436, set last week.

The dollar extended its losses from the previous session versus the sterling, slipping to 1.6667 before improving by a penny. Last week, the dollar hit a 10-month low of 1.7012.

Versus the yen, carry trades hurt the dollar versus the yen. After treading water in early dealing, the dollar slipped to 95.37. The pair has been unable to sustain any direction over the course of the summer, with both low-yielders falling out of fashion as stocks rallied.

First-time claims for unemployment benefits showed a modest increase in the week ended August 8th, surprising economists who had expected a modest decrease. Nonetheless, jobless claims remain well off the peaks seen in the spring.

A report from the Labor Department released on Thursday showed that initial jobless claims edged up to 558,000 from the previous week's revised figured of 554,000.

Meanwhile, business inventories fell by more than expected in the month of June, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Thursday, although the report also showed a notable increase in business sales during the month.

The report showed that business inventories fell 1.1 percent in June followed a revised 1.2 percent decrease in May.

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