- The greenback traded lower against most major currencies on Thursday after disappointing U.S. retail sales data reminded investors that the Federal Reserve will take its time dismantling dollar-weakening stimulus programs, while rate hikes remain far beyond the horizon.

In U.S. trading on Thursday, EUR/USD was up 0.63% at 1.3679.

The Commerce Department reported earlier that U.S. retail sales fell 0.4% in January, 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 came in flat in January compared to expectations for a 0.1% rise.

The soft data fueled worries that U.S. economic recovery still faces headwinds and that the Federal Reserve will take its time dismantling its USD65 billion bond-buying program, while rate hikes remain far off on the horizon.

Fed asset purchases weaken the dollar by suppressing interest rates, which tends to bolster assets like stocks and commodities.

Elsewhere, the Department of Labor reported that the number of individuals 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 dollar was down against the yen, with USD/JPY down 0.31% at 102.21, and down against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF down 0.77% at 0.8937.

The greenback was down against the pound, with GBP/USD up 0.36% at 1.6658.

The dollar was mixed against its cousins in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with USD/CAD down 0.22% at 1.0978, AUD/USD down 0.41% at 0.8991 and NZD/USD up 0.38% at 0.8352.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.50% at 80.735.

On Friday, the U.S. is to wrap up the week with the closely watched preliminary reading of the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index. The U.S. is also to release data on import prices and industrial production.

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