Investing.com - The dollar rose against the yen on Thursday after data revealed fewer in the U.S. sought jobless assistance last week, while gains in U.S. stock markets enticed investors out of safe-haven yen positions.
In U.S. trading, USD/JPY was up 0.39% and trading at 101.85, up from a session low of 101.25 and off a high of 102.00.
The pair was expected to test support at 100.75, Tuesday''s low, and resistance at 102.42, Monday''s high.
In the U.S., the dollar found support after data revealed that the number of individuals filing for unemployment assistance in the U.S. fell more than expected last week.
The Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell by 20,000 to 331,000 from the previous week’s revised total of 351,000. Analysts were expecting jobless claims to fall by 16,000.
A separate report showed that the U.S. trade deficit widened significantly in December, as exports dropped 2.2% and imports rose 1.6%.
The data fueled cautious but growing sentiments that harsh winter weather may be bruising economic indicators such as monthly jobs reports or factory output data and not waning demand, which gave the dollar support.
Investors were turning their attention to Friday’s U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for January, after poor U.S. manufacturing data earlier in the week sparked concerns over a possible slowdown in the economic recovery that might prompt the Federal Reserve to keep its stimulus programs in place for longer than expected.
Stimulus tools such as monthly Fed bond purchases drive down long-term interest rates to spur recovery, weakening the dollar as a side effect.
Meanwhile, stock markets rose on Thursday due in part to the weekly jobless claims report, which sent investors ditching safe-haven yen positions.
The yen has served as a safe-haven asset of choice among investors fearing emerging markets may be cooling.
The yen, meanwhile, was down against the euro and down against the pound, with EUR/JPY up 0.91% at 138.56, and GBP/JPY trading up 0.60% at 166.45.
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