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The greenback held onto gains against other major currencies on Thursday, even after the recent report showed that US jobless claims data unexpectedly increased during the previous week.

USD/JPY was higher by 0.71 percent at 109.17.

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The Department of Labor of the United States stated that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending on May 6 edged up by 20,000 to hit 294,000 from last week’s total of 274,000. Market analysts had anticipated that jobless claims will decline by 4,000 to come in at 270,000 during the prior week.

Meanwhile, sentiment on the Japanese yen stayed fragile since Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso stated on Monday that authorities are ready to intervene in the currency market if extreme moves in the Japanese currency are sufficient to impact the economy of the Asian nation.

However, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda stated earlier Thursday that it would be challenging for the finance ministry to intentionally devalue the yen in an attempt to improve exports.

Meanwhile, EUR/USD tumbled by 0.21 percent to touch 1.1402.

The greenback was weaker against the Swiss franc and British pound, with USD/CHF inching lower by 0.14 percent to reach 0.9695 and with GBP/USD rallying by 0.22 percent at 1.4478.

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Sterling was stronger after the Bank of England stated that the interest rate will remain at 0.50 percent, in a broadly anticipated move. The interest rate has been unchanged at that record-low level since the month of March in 2009.

Meanwhile, the inflation report indicated that the Bank of England lowered its growth forecast for the second quarter to 0.3 percent, in comparison to the previous estimate of an expansion of 0.5 percent.

For this year, the BoE slashed its estimate for growth to 2.0 percent, from the previous level of 2.2%.

The Bank of England Governor Mr. Mark Carney warned that the upcoming referendum on June 23 regarding the United Kingdom’s European Union membership had “pushed up uncertainty measures to levels not seen since the euro zone crisis” and defined the vote as the “elephant in the room”.

The US dollar index, which measures the strength of the greenback against a basket of 6 major currencies, was higher by 0.16 percent at 93.95.

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