The euro trimmed gains to trade little changed against the U.S. dollar on Thursday, after data showed that that the number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week fell more-than-expected, adding to signs the U.S. economy is strengthening.
Trading volumes were light as financial markets in London and across Europe remained closed for the Boxing Day holiday.
EUR/USD rose to a session high of 1.3702, before subsequently consolidating at 1.3685 during U.S. morning trade, up 0.03%.
The pair was likely to find support at 1.3653, the low of December 24 and resistance at 1.3715, the high of December 23.
The U.S. Department of Labor said earlier that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits declined by 42,000 to a seasonally adjusted 338,000 last week. Analysts had expected U.S. jobless claims to fall by 35,000 to 345,000 from the previous week’s revised total of 380,000, which was the highest since March.
The upbeat data added to the view that the U.S. economy will be strong enough to allow the Federal Reserve to continue withdrawing stimulus through 2014.
Meanwhile, the euro was higher against the yen, with EUR/JPY rising 0.47% to 143.39, the highest since October 2008.
The yen weakened amid speculation the Bank of Japan will have to expand its stimulus program in the coming months in order to meet its target of 2% inflation by 2015.
Minutes of the BoJ’s November policy meeting showed that that not all board members were convinced that the country’s growth was on a long-term upward trend. Investors also reacted to comments made by BoJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, who said that the nation’s economy hadn’t yet completely wiped out deflation.
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