With traders looking ahead to the release of the Labor Department’s closely watched monthly jobs report, the U.S dollar has turned in a lackluster performance on Thursday.
The U.S. dollar index has spent much of the day lingering near the unchanged and is currently down by less than a tenth of a percent at 92.27.
The greenback is trading at 109.77 yen versus the 109.48 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Wednesday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1833 compared to yesterday’s $1.1837.
Currency traders seemed reluctant to make significant moves ahead of the monthly jobs report, which could impact the outlook for monetary policy.
With the monthly jobs report looming, the Labor Department released a report this morning showing a modest decrease in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended July 31st.
The report said initial jobless claims slipped to 385,000, a decrease of 14,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 399,000.
Economists had expected jobless claims to dip to 384,000 from the 400,000 originally reported for the previous week.
A separate report from the Commerce Department showed the U.S. trade deficit widened by more than expected in the month of June, reaching a new record high.
The Commerce Department said the trade deficit widened to $75.7 billion in June from a revised $71.0 billion in May.
Economists had expected the trade deficit to widen to $74.1 billion from the $71.2 billion originally reported for the previous month.
The wider than expected trade deficit came as the value of imports jumped by 2.1 percent to $283.4 billion, while the value of exports rose by 0.6 percent to $207.7 billion.