The U.S. dollar pared losses against its Canadian counterpart on Thursday, after measures unveiled by the European Central Bank disappointed investors and as the release of higher than expected jobless claims data failed to dampen expectations for a U.S. rate hike.
ECB President Mario Draghi said the bank will expand its bond-buying purchase scheme beyond the current cut-off point of September 2016 until the end of March 2017, or beyond if necessary.
The ECB extended the range of assets that are eligible for purchase and will now also buy regional and local government debt and will reinvest the proceeds from quantitative easing as bonds mature.
The pace of the QE program is to remain unchanged at €60 billion, disappointing expectations that the central bank would speed up its bond-buying scheme.
The comments sent the euro broadly higher, dampening demand for the greenback.
Earlier Thursday, the ECB’s governing council lowered the deposit facility rate to -0.3% from -0.20%, in line with market expectations.
The ECB’s main refinancing rate was left unchanged at a record-low 0.05%, in line with market expectations.
In the U.S., the Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending November 28 increased by 9,000 to 269,000 from the previous week’s total of 260,000. Analysts expected jobless claims to rise by 8,000 last week.
The dollar remained supported by mounting expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates at its December policy meeting.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Wednesday that the central bank was still on track to hike rates this month, citing “continued improvement in the labor market” and “confidence that inflation will move back to our 2% objective over the medium term.”