The dollar rose against the other major currencies on Thursday, pulling away from a five-week trough after the release of upbeat U.S. jobless claims data boosted optimism over the strength of the economy.
The U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefitsin the week ending June 4 decreased by 4,000 to 264,000 from the previous week’s total of 268,000, which was revised up from the initial read of 267,000.
Analysts had expected jobless claims to rise by 3,000 to 270,000 last week.
The greenback weakened earlier in the week, as markets pushed back expectations on the timing of the next rate hike by the U.S. central bank after Friday’s dismal employment report for May, which showed the slowest rate of jobs growth since September 2010.
A speech by Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Monday indicated that interest rates won’t rise until uncertainty over the economic outlook is resolved.
Yellen said she expects the economic recovery to continue but gave no indications on the timing of a next rate increase.
The Fed raised interest rates for the first time in almost a decade in December.
Data earlier showed an unexpected 0.2% fall in German imports in May, while exports were flat.
The drop in imports meant that the country’s trade surplus widened to €24.0 billion from revised €23.7 billion in March.
Meanwhile, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi warned Thursday that uncertainty over the future of the euro is holding back progress in the region.
The comments came during a speech at the Brussels Economic Forum.
The U.K. Office for National Statistics reported on Thursday that the trade deficit narrowed to £3.29 billion in April from a downwardly revised £3.53 billion in March, the lowest level since September 2015.
But sentiment on sterling remained fragile ahead of the June 23 EU Brexit referendum.
The kiwi strengthened broadly after the New Zealand Reserve Bank held interest rates steady, surprising some investors who had been expecting a rate cut.
The U.S. dollar, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.29% at 93.86, off the previous session’s five-week lows of 93.41