WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - The U.S. dollar exhibited strength on Thursday as trade worries eased a bit on reports both the U.S. and China are keen on resuming discussions.
Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng indicated China does not currently intend to retaliate against President Donald Trump's latest threat to raise the rate of tariffs on Chinese imports.
Gao claimed China has plenty of countermeasures it could impose but will instead focus on removing Trump's new tariffs, which were announced after China said it plans to impose tariffs on $75 billion worth of U.S. goods.
'The most important thing at the moment is to create necessary conditions for both sides to continue negotiations,' Gao told reporters during a weekly briefing.
U.S. President told Fox News the U.S. and China are scheduled to hold talks later today at a 'different level,' although he did not clarify what that means.
The dollar index rose to 98.55 before paring some gains on finding resistance at higher levels. Still, at 98.45, it was up by about 0.25% from previous close.
Against the euro, the dollar was trading at 1.1058, up 0.18% from Wednesday's close.
Against Pound Sterling, the dollar was up 0.22% at 1.2184.
The dollar was up nearly 0.4% against the Japanese currency with a unit of greenback fetching 106.53 yen, compared to 106.12 yen late Wednesday.
The greenback was up more than 0.5% against Swiss franc at 0.9868, and up 0.07% against the Aussie at 0.6279. Against the loonie, the dollar was down 0.11% at 1.3292.
In economic news, Labor Department released a report showing a modest increase in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended August 24th.
The report said initial jobless claims inched up to 215,000, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week's revised level of 211,000.
Economists had expected jobless claims to climb to 215,000 from the 209,000 originally reported for the previous week.
A separate report released by the Commerce Department showed the pace of growth in U.S. economic activity slowed by slightly more than initially estimated in the second quarter.
The Commerce Department said gross domestic product increased by 2.0 percent in the second quarter compared to the previously reported 2.1 percent growth. The downward revision came in line with economist estimates.
The downwardly revised GDP growth seen in the second quarter compares to the 3.1 percent jump in GDP reported for the first quarter.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Realtors also released a report showing a sharp pullback in pending home sales in the month of July.
NAR said its pending home sales index tumbled by 2.5 percent to 105.6 in July after surging up by 2.8 percent to 108.3 in June. The steep drop came as a surprise to economists, who had expected pending sales to come in unchanged.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
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