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Dollar Rallies on Upbeat U.S. Economic Data

Investing.com - The U.S dollar jumped against its rivals on Thursday as mostly upbeat economic data pointed to strength in the underlying economy.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose by 0.50% to 97.14.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that initial jobless claims dropped by 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 192,000 for the week ended April 14, beating economists’ forecast for a rise to 205,000.

The Philadelphia Fed said Thursday its manufacturing index slowed to a reading of 8.5 in April, from 13.4 in last month.

But the Commerce Department said retail sales fell 1.6% last month. That exceeded economists' forecast for a 0.9 % rise. The retail sales control group – which has a larger impact on U.S. GDP – added 1%, well above expectation for a 0.4% increase.

The retail sales report showed the biggest headline gain since 2017 and comes after "lots of distortions in recent months, including weather, sluggish tax refunds, the government shutdown, and now a late Easter," Action Economics said.

A sharp drop in the euro also supported the dollar. Concerns that the eurozone economy is slowing were strengthened in after weaker-than-expected manufacturing reports from Germany and France.

EUR/USD fell 0.57% to $1.1230.

GBP/USD lost 0.42% to $1.2988, shrugging off better-than-expected U.K. retail sales data amid fears that U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn are unlikely to reach a consensus a Brexit deal.

USD/JPY fell 0.10% to Y111.94, while USD/CAD rose 0.30% to C$1.3378.

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