- The euro was trading close to two-week lows against the dollar on Thursday as prospects for an earlier than expected rate hike by the Federal Reserve saw the dollar strengthen across the board.

EUR/USD was last down 0.47% to 1.3766, after falling to session lows of 1.3750 earlier. The euro fell more than 0.8% against the dollar on Wednesday.

The pair was likely to find support at 1.3725 and resistance at 1.3815.

The dollar rallied against the other main currencies after Fed Chair Janet Yellen indicated that the bank could begin to raise interest rates about six months after its bond-buying program winds up, which is expected to happen this fall.

The Fed also cut its monthly bond purchases by an additional $10 billion to $55 billion at the conclusion of its two-day policy setting meeting on Wednesday.

The comments prompted investors to bring forward expectations for a rate hike to as soon as April of next year.

Meanwhile, data on Thursday showed that U.S. initial jobless claims rose less-then-expected last week.

The Department of Labor reported that the number of people filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending March 15 rose by 5,000 to 320,000 from the previous week’s total of 315,000. Analysts had expected jobless claims to rise by 10,000 last week.

A separate report showed that manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia-region expanded at a faster rate than expected in March, but National Association of Realtors said existing homes sales fell in February, as adverse weather and rising prices weighed.

Elsewhere, the common currency was also weaker against the yen and the pound, with EUR/JPY down 0.43% to 140.92, and EUR/GBP shedding 0.19% to trade at 0.8343.

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