Dollar falls on U.S. jobless claims, rising consumer price

February 18, 2011 11:16 am 

NEW YORK, Feb. 18 — The U.S. dollar fell against major currencies in late New York trading on Thursday as data showed that the U.S. jobless claims last week climbed and the consumer price in January also rose.

The U.S. Labor Department reported that the jobless claims last week rose by 25,000 to 410,000 last week, topping analysts' estimation of 400,000, reflecting the job market in the United States was still fragile.

Another separate report showed that the U.S. consumer price rose. The prices that American consumers pay for goods and services rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent in January, mainly because of higher gas and grocery expenses, said the Labor Department.

The core consumer prices, which exclude volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.2 percent. Both overall consumer price and core consumer price surpassed economists' previous estimation of 0.3 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively.

The sluggish job market and risk of inflation hurt investors' confidence and weighed on the dollar. The dollar index dropped below 78 in late trading session on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the unrest in Middle East regions gave chances for other currencies to gain, like the Swiss franc, which has gained broadly against the dollar recently. The dollar slipped three percent against the Swiss franc in the past four days' trading.

According to some analysts, the Swiss franc, traditionally sought as a safe-haven during times of geopolitical tension, will likely continue to strengthen against other currencies if events in the Middle East escalate.

In late Thursday trading, the dollar bought 83.33 yen, comparing with 83.56 late Wednesday, and the euro rose to 1.3604 dollars from 1.3567.

The British pound also rose to 1.6174 dollars from 1.6092. The dollar fell from 0.9592 to 0.9498 against the Swiss franc, and also fell to 0.9848 Canadian dollars from 0.9856. (PNA/Xinhua)

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