- The dollar fell to session lows against the yen on Thursday after data showed that initial jobless claims rose in line with expectations last week, but the number of continuing jobless claims remained above the three million mark for the second successive week.

USD/JPY hit 103.93, the lowest since January 20 and was last down 0.44% to 104.05.

The pair was likely to find support at 103.75 and resistance at 104.57, Wednesday’s high.

The number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week rose to 326,000, the Labor Department said, up from the previous week’s revised total of 325,000.

However, the number of people filing continuing unemployment claims rose to 3.056 million up from 3.022 million in the week to January 11. Analysts had expected continuing claims to fall to 2.930 million.

U.S. employment data is being closely watched by investors since the latest nonfarm payrolls report showed that the economy added just 74,000 news jobs in December, well below expectations for 196,000.

Meanwhile, the euro advanced to session highs against the dollar. EUR/USD rose to 1.3648 and was last up 0.74% to 1.3647.

The common currency was boosted after stronger-than-expected data on euro zone private sector activity indicated that the recovery in the euro area is strengthening.

Markit said the euro zone’s composite output index rose to a 31-month high of 53.2 in January, up from a final reading of 52.1 in December, as growth picked up in Germany and the rate of decline eased in France.

The euro was also higher against the yen, with EUR/JPY up 0.30% to 142.02.

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