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Dollar slips after central banks leave rates unchanged


08:30, March 08, 2013

NEW YORK, March 7 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. dollar weakened against most major currencies on Thursday after major central banks left benchmark interest rates unchanged.

The European Central Bank (ECB) decided to maintain its key interest rate at 0.75 percent on Thursday. The euro/dollar rate soared sharply as some investors had predicted there was a chance that the ECB might cut interest rates to boost economy.

Moreover, ECB President Mario Draghi said at the news conference following the policy meeting that recent data suggested economic activity should start stabilizing in the first part of the year.

However, the dollar rose versus Japanese yen on speculations that Haruhiko Kuroda, the newly nominated governor of the Japanese central bank, would launch aggressive stimulus measures, although the Bank of Japan didn't take further easing measures. The policy meeting on Thursday is the last one for outgoing governor Masaaki Shirakawa, who is leaving the post on March 19.

On the economic front, the number of Americans applying for initial jobless claims last week decreased to a seasonally adjusted 340,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 347, 000, according to the U.S. Labor Department.

Meanwhile, investors were awaiting monthly U.S. job data for February to be released Friday by the Labor Department.

In late New York trading, the euro jumped to 1.3108 dollars from 1.2994 dollars of the previous session and the British pound slipped to 1.5017 from 1.5040 dollars. The Australian dollar climbed to 1.0274 dollars from 1.0243 dollars.

The dollar bought 94.85 Japanese yen, higher than 94.07 in the previous session. It edged down to 0.9427 Swiss francs from 0.9477 and dropped to 1.0289 Canadian dollars from 1.0312.

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