- U.S. non-farm productivity declined more-than-expected in the first three months of 2014, while unit labor costs topped forecasts, official preliminary data showed on Wednesday.

In a report, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said non-farm business sector labor productivity fell by a seasonally adjusted 1.7% in the first quarter, worse than expectations for a decline of 1%.

The preceding quarter’s figure was revised to a 2.3% gain from a previously reported increase of 1.8%.

The report also said unit labor costs rose by a seasonally adjusted 4.2% in the three months ended March 31, compared to expectations for a 2.6% increase, after dropping 0.4% in the preceding quarter.

Following the release of the data, the euro held on to modest gains against the U.S. dollar, with EUR/USD easing up 0.02% to trade at 1.3931.

Meanwhile, the outlook for U.S. equity markets remained higher. The Dow indicated a gain of 0.45% at the open, S&P 500 pointed to an increase of 0.4%, while the Nasdaq 100 indicated a rise of 0.4%.

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