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The US dollar rose against other major peers on Thursday, as fears over a trade war briefly fades, with the US data reporting higher jobless claims.  

The US dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against six major currencies, gained 0.2 percent to $89.75, just slightly distant from Wednesday’s two-week low of $89.36.

The currency added 0.1 percent to 106.22 against the Japanese yen, while it climbed 0.2 percent to 0.9465 against the Swiss franc.

The dollar was down by 0.1 percent to 1.2893 against its Canadian counterpart.

The US Department of Labor reported that initial jobless claims rose by 21,000 in the week ending March 3 to 231,000, exceeding forecasts of a 10,000 rise to 220,000.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump is likely to provide further details about his plans to implement tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports later in the day.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said they expect the president to sign something by the end of the week.

Investors were concerned that the proposed tariffs could trigger inflation and retaliation from US trade partners, including the European Union (EU), China, and Canada.

That was then followed by the White House stating that Canada, Mexico, and potentially other countries could be exempted at least for a short time from the planned tariffs.      

British Pound Declines on Brexit Uncertainty

The British pound fell, as the transition deal between the EU and the UK grew uncertain ahead of the summit later this month.

The sterling declined by 0.2 percent to 1.3872 against the dollar, after losing almost a third of percent earlier in the session to 1.3861.

The currency marked a 1-1/2 month low of 1.3712 last week and was just 1 percent above those levels.

Analysts expected that the pound would trade slightly higher in a year’s time, near the 1.41 level in less than a month before Britain’s official departure from the EU, suggesting that currency strategists remain optimistic of London and Brussels having a smooth exit and transition agreement.  

Euro Falls as ECB Leaves Rate Unchanged

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The euro on the other hand edged lower, as the European Central Bank (ECB) left its key rate steady as expected.

Following the announcement, the euro index fell 0.2 percent to €97.44.

The currency was down by 0.3 percent to 1.2376 against the dollar. The euro also lost 0.1 percent from 0.88921 to 0.8918 against the pound.

ECB decided to keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.00 percent, holding its deposit facility rate at its current level of -0.4 percent and its marginal lending rate at 0.25 percent.

The central bank said it will retain its asset buying program, with monthly purchases of €30 billion ($30 billion) until the end of September 2018, or beyond, if needed, and at least until the Governing Council sees a continuous adjustment in the course of inflation consistent with its inflation goal.

ECB added that the Eurosystem will reinvest key payments from maturing securities acquired under the asset purchase program for a longer period of time after the end of its net asset purchases, and in any case for as long as necessary.

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