Investing.com – The euro remained lower against the dollar on Thursday after U.S. retail sales data came in slightly better than forecast, indicating that consumer spending is increasing, as uncertainty over Greece continued to weigh.
EUR/USD was last at 1.1236, down 0.79% for the day, after falling to lows of 1.1184 earlier.
The dollar was boosted after the Commerce Department reported that retail sales in the U.S. rose at an annual rate 1.2% in May, ahead of forecast for an increase of 1.1%.
Retail sales were 0.2% higher from a month earlier.
Core retail sales, which exclude automobiles and gasoline increased 0.7% last month after an upwardly revised 0.1% rise in April.
The upbeat data added to the view that the economy is regaining momentum in the current quarter after a weak first quarter, supporting expectations for a rate hike by the Federal Reserve later this year.
Another report showed that the number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week ticked higher but remained at a historically low level.
The Labor Department said initial jobless claims rose by 2,000 to 279,000 from the previous week’s revised total of 277,000. Economists had expected an unchanged reading.
The single currency’s losses were held in check amid hopes for an agreement on a cash-for-reforms deal for Greece.
On Wednesday German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had agreed to work “intensively” with the country’s creditors in the coming days in order to avoid default at the end of the month.
Greece’s bailout agreement with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund is set to expire at the end of this month and it cannot make further debt repayments without a new deal.
The dollar was also higher against the yen, with USD/JPY up 0.85% to 123.67, rebounding from Wednesday’s lows of 122.45. The dollar ended that session down 1.34%, the largest one-day decline in six months.
The yen rallied on Wednesday after Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda suggested that the relative value of the yen may not continue to fall.
Kuroda said the real effective exchange rate showed that the yen’s levels were “significantly low”.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.66% to 95.20, recovering Wednesday’s three-week lows of 94.30.
[“source – investing.com”]