US dollar falls against major currencies

New York: The US dollar decreased against most other major currencies as investors digested a batch of economic data.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, decreased 0.52 per cent at 88.667 in late trading on Thursday, Xinhua news agency reported.

In late New York trading, the euro rose to $1.2516 from $1.2416 in the previous session, and the British pound climbed to $1.4270 from $1.4184 in the previous session. The Australian dollar lost to $0.8040 from $0.8052.

The US dollar bought 109.37 Japanese yen, higher than 109.10 yen of the previous session. The US dollar fell to 0.9269 Swiss franc from 0.9309 Swiss francs, and it moved down to 1.2267 Canadian dollars from 1.2305 Canadian dollars.

In the week ending January 27, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 230,000, a decrease of 1,000 from the previous week’s revised level, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

The four-week moving average was 234,500, a decrease of 5,000 from the previous week’s revised average.

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in January, according to the latest report released by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) on Thursday.

The manufacturing index, also known as the purchasing managers index (PMI), registered 59.1 in January, decreasing from the December reading of 59.3, said the ISM.

Meanwhile, investors continued to sift through the Federal Reserve’s decision to keep interest rates unchanged. The US central bank on Wednesday decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1.25 to 1.5 percent after the conclusion of its two-day meeting, while giving an upbeat assessment of recent US economic growth.

“Gains in employment, household spending, and business fixed investment have been solid, and the unemployment rate has stayed low,” the Fed’s policy-making committee said in a statement.

The Fed also expected US inflation on a 12-month basis to “move up this year and to stabilize” around the central bank’s 2 per cent target over the medium term.