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U.S. Dollar Sustains Highs on Strong Labor Data, Fed Minutes

Investing.com - The U.S. dollar was near a one-month high on Thursday as an unexpected decline in the number of people filing for unemployment assistance last week helped it maintain momentum.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.1% to 97.972.

Data on Thursday showed that the labor market is gaining strength, even as the economy slows. Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell for the third-straight week to a seasonally adjusted 211,000, the Labor Department said.

The U.S. dollar was also pushed higher by minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting, which underscored the central bank’s stance on pausing interest rate hikes.

The greenback was down against the safe-haven Japanese yen, with USD/JPY falling 0.5% to 109.73. EUR/USD slipped 0.1% to 1.1142 and USD/CAD rose 0.5% to 1.3488.

Meanwhile, the pound was under pressure as chatter continued about the departure of U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May.

On Wednesday House of Commons leader Andrea Leadson resigned instead of introducing May’s revised Withdrawal Agreement bill. Many U.K. newspapers are reporting that May is expected to resign within the next few days, as her party has made it clear they do not agree with her Brexit plan.

GBP/USD fell 0.1% to 1.2645, while EUR/GBP was up 0.1% to 0.8811.

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