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Dollar mixed after jobs, trade data

By Hibah Yousuf, staff reporter

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The dollar slipped against the euro and the pound Thursday but rose against the yen as investors digested mixed U.S. economic news.

What prices are doing: The dollar edged 0.2% lower on the euro to $1.3678 and fell 0.6% versus the pound to $1.5036. The buck was flat against the yen at ¥90.52.

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The dollar was higher against the yen and the pound Wednesday, and lower on the euro.

What's moving the market: Investors weighed mixed U.S. economic data on jobless claims and the trade balance.

The Commerce Department said the trade deficit narrowed to $37.3 billion in January from $39.9 billion a month earlier. Economists expect the trade deficit to increase to $41 billion from $40.2 billion in December.

But the report also showed that exports fell for the first time in almost a year and imports slipped 1.7%, the largest decline in 11 months.

The Labor Department's report on claims for unemployment insurance showed that while initial claims fell by a modest 6,000 to 462,000, continuing claims jumped by 37,000, highlighting the labor market's long-term unemployment challenges.

Economists surveyed by Briefing.com expect initial claims to fall to 460,000, with continuing claims remaining unchanged at 4.5 million.

What analysts are saying: While the smaller trade deficit should boost the dollar, fewer imports and exports weighed on the greenback.

Forex.com chief currency strategist Brian Dolan said investors will keep currency trading in a tight range ahead of U.S. retail sales data due Friday.

He added that concerns over Greece's debt situation will curb gains in the euro and the pound.  To top of page

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