WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - The dollar got off to a weak start against its major rivals Thursday, but has turned modestly positive in the afternoon. U.S. economic data proved mixed this morning and there are no major reports scheduled for the end of the week.
A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits increased by more than anticipated in the week ended May 12th. The report said initial jobless claims rose to 222,000, an increase of 11,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 211,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 215,000.
Growth in Philadelphia-area manufacturing activity unexpectedly saw a substantial acceleration in the month of May, according to a report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia on Thursday.
The Philly Fed said its diffusion index for current general activity jumped to 34.4 in May from 23.2 in April, with a positive reading indicating growth in regional manufacturing activity. Economists had expected the index to dip to 21.0.
Suggesting solid economic growth should continue in the second half, the Conference Board released a report on Thursday showing a continued uptrend by its index of leading U.S. economic indicators in the month of April.
The Conference Board said its leading economic index rose by 0.4 percent in April, matching the upwardly revised increase in March as well as economist estimates.
The dollar has risen to around $1.18 against the Euro Thursday afternoon, from an early low of $1.1837.
Eurozone construction output fell for the third straight month in March, Eurostat reported Thursday. Construction output dropped 0.3 percent month-on-month in March, slower than the 0.7 percent decrease in February, which was revised from a 0.5 percent fall reported earlier.
The buck has climbed to around $1.3510 against the pound sterling this afternoon, from a low of $1.3568 this morning.
The greenback has broken out to a 4-month high of Y110.700 against the Japanese Yen Thursday afternoon, from an early low of Y110.072.
The total value of core machine orders in Japan dropped 3.9 percent on month in March, the Cabinet Office said on Thursday, coming in at 856.6 billion yen. That missed expectations for a decline of 3.0 percent following the 2.1 percent increase in February.
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