Dollar mixed against most major currencies

13:30, January 01, 2010      

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The dollar was mixed against major currencies on Thursday in the last trading day of 2009 with thin volume.

U.S. initial claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly declined to 432,000 in the week ending December 26, the lowest level since July 2008, the Labor Department reported. Analysts cautioned that it can be difficult to properly seasonal adjust weekly claims at this time of year due to shifts in the holiday calendar.

A series of important economic reports will be released in the first week of 2010, including construction spending, ISM manufacturing and non-manufacturing indexes, motor vehicle sales and the non-farm employment report.

If the reports were as positive as expected, the dollar will continue rising as it decouples from risk sentiment.

For more than a year, there has been a correlation between strong dollar and bad economic news as foreign exchange investors took the dollar as a safety haven currency. The correlation seemed to be fading in the past month amid encouraging U.S. economic data.

In the next week, the Federal Reserve will release the minutes for its latest monetary policy meeting. Investors are closely watching the minutes and a major speech by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke for any clues about policy outlook of the central bank.

The euro bought 1.4321 dollars in late New York trading compared with 1.4334 dollars it bought late Wednesday. The pound rose to 1.6169 dollars from 1.6069 dollars.

The dollar fell to 1.0473 Canadian dollars from 1.0554 Canadian dollars, and rose to 93.07 Japanese yen from 92.46 Japanese yen. It fell to 1.0356 Swiss francs from 1.0370 Swiss francs.

Source: Xinhua
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