WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - The dollar is turning in a mixed performance against its major rivals Thursday afternoon. Traders are keeping a close eye on Washington this week and are becoming more optimistic that lawmakers will pass a short-term spending bill to avoid a government shutdown.
Meanwhile, investors are looking forward to the release of the U.S. jobs report for November tomorrow morning. Economists are expecting employment to grow by 190,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged at 4.1 percent.
A day ahead of the release of the closely watched monthly jobs report, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday unexpectedly showing a modest decrease in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended December 2nd.
The report said initial jobless claims edged down to 236,000, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 238,000. The drop surprised economists, who had expected jobless claims to inch up to 240,000.
The dollar has climbed to around $1.1775 against the Euro Thursday afternoon, from an early low of $1.1814.
The euro area economy expanded, as initially estimated, in the third quarter largely on investment and exports, Eurostat reported Thursday. Gross domestic product grew 0.6 percent sequentially, slightly slower than the 0.7 percent expansion seen in the second quarter. The rate came in line with the estimate released on November 14.
Germany's industrial production dropped unexpectedly in October driven by weakness across major sectors except energy.
Industrial production fell 1.4 percent month-on-month in October, following a revised 0.9 percent drop in September, data from Destatis showed Thursday. This was the second straight decline in output. Production was forecast to grow 0.9 percent.
The French trade gap widened in October from a month earlier, the customs office reported Thursday. The trade deficit rose to EUR 5.0 billion in October from EUR 4.6 billion in September. The deficit was forecast to increase to 4.7 billion.
The French current account gap narrowed in October from a month earlier, data from the Bank of France showed Thursday. The current account deficit fell to EUR 2.2 billion in October from EUR 3.3 billion in September.
The U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is likely to put forth a fresh offer to resolve Irish border dispute, as Brexit negotiator Michael Barnier issued a deadline to potential deal.
Barnier insisted that diplomats of the 27 member states have to sign the deal by Friday, if talks must move onto trade at a summit next week. The buck has dropped to around $1.3465 against the pound sterling Thursday afternoon, from an early high of $1.3318.
UK house prices increased more than expected in November, data published by the mortgage lender Halifax and IHS Markit showed Thursday.
On a monthly basis, house prices increased 0.5 percent, faster than the 0.3 percent rise posted in October. This was the fifth consecutive increase. Prices were forecast to grow marginally by 0.2 percent.
The greenback has risen to around Y113.050 against the Japanese Yen this afternoon, from an early low of Y112.307.
Japan's leading index decreased for the second straight month in October, in line with expectations, preliminary figures from the Cabinet Office showed Thursday. The leading index, which measures the future economic activity, dropped to 106.1 in October from 106.5 in September. The figure also matched consensus estimate.
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