Investing.com - The dollar extended losses against the other main currencies on Thursday following the release of unexpectedly weak U.S. retail sales figures for January and separate report showing that initial jobless claims rose last week.
USD/JPY hit 101.71, the lowest since February 7 and was last down 0.79% to 101.71.
The drop in the dollar came after the Commerce Department said that U.S. retail sales fell 0.4% last month, confounding expectations for a 0.3% increase. December’s figure was revised down to a decline of 0.1% from a previously reported 0.2% increase.
Core retail sales were flat in January, compared to expectations for a 0.1% rise.
Meanwhile, the Department of Labor reported that the number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week rose by 8,000 to 339,000 from the previous week’s total of 331,000.
Analysts had expected jobless claims to fall by 1,000.
The euro rose to three-week highs against the dollar, with EUR/USD up 0.65% to 1.3681, recovering from the previous session’s lows of 1.3561.
The common currency weakened across the board on Wednesday after European Central Bank Executive Board member Benoit Coeure said in an interview with Reuters that the bank is considering a negative deposit rate very seriously.
GBP/USD hit 1.6673, the strongest level since May 2011, and was last up 0.39% to 1.6661.
Demand for sterling continued to be underpinned after the Bank of England revised up its forecast for economic growth this year on Wednesday and indicated that it may raise rates as soon as next year.
The dollar skidded to three-week lows against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF falling 0.90% to 0.8924.
Elsewhere, the Australian dollar was sharply lower, with AUD/USD down 0.76% to 0.8958 in the wake of an unexpectedly weak domestic jobs report.
Official data on Thursday showed that Australia’s unemployment rate rose to 6.0% in January from 5.8% in the previous month, compared to expectations for an unchanged reading. The economy shed 3,700 jobs last month, confounding expectations for jobs growth of 15,000.
The New Zealand dollar was slightly higher, with NZD/USD rising 0.16% to 0.8332.
The U.S. dollar edged higher against the Canadian dollar, with USD/CAD rising 0.15% to 1.1018.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.51% to a three-week low of 80.34.
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