Investing.com – The dollar was set to close higher for the first time this week against a basket of major currencies as geopolitical tensions faded, denting demand for safe-haven currencies like the yen.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose 0.31% to 89.50, bouncing from a low of 89.16.
USD/JPY rose 0.49% to Y107.31 amid easing geopolitical tensions after President Donald Trump said U.S. military action in Syria may not be imminent, backtracking from his aggressive stance.
Weaker U.S. economic data, however, took some steam out of the dollar rally as jobless claims undershot economists’ forecast.
The U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that initial jobless claims fell by 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 233,000 for the week ended April 6, missing economists’ forecast for a drop to 231,000.
Some said, however, that it is common for jobless claims to show volatility during the spring and Easter break, adding that the report did little to change the narrative of a tight U.S. labor market.
“Week-to-week volatility [in jobless claims] is not unusual around the Easter and turn-of-the-quarter period,” Amherst said. “In any case, the four-week average inched up to 230K, so the figures do not yet suggest a breakout of the 220K-to-230K range that has prevailed for most of the year.”
USD/CAD, meanwhile, halted its three-day slump, rising 0.07% to C$1.2591 as the rally oil prices cooled.
EUR/USD fell 0.31% to $1.2332 as the European Central Bank minutes showed policymakers were concerned about the strength of the euro and remained wary of removing easy monetary policy measures.
GBP/USD rose 0.35% to $1.4226.