NEW YORK: The dollar index edged higher on Thursday in choppy trading as investors balanced bullish data showing US retail sales rebounded sharply in March against a continued drop in US Treasury yields.
Retail sales increased 9.8% last month, the Commerce Department said on Thursday, beating economists’ expectations for a 5.9% increase.
A separate report also showed that initial claims for state unemployment benefits totaled a seasonally adjusted 576,000 for the week ended April 10, compared with 769,000 in the prior week. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 700,000 applications in the latest week.
“This was a one-two punch of really positive data,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA in New York.
Dollar strength was capped, however, as Treasury yields dropped to one-month lows, reducing the relative attractiveness of the US currency.
The dollar index earlier on Thursday hit a one-month low of 91.487, before rebounding to 91.633, up 0.03% on the day.
The euro fell 0.07% to $1.1971. The greenback fell 0.15% to 109.73 Japanese yen.
The Australian dollar, a proxy for global risk sentiment, rose 0.36% on Thursday to $0.7749.
Bitcoin stood near a record high of $64,895 reached on Wednesday, when cryptocurrency platform Coinbase made its debut in Nasdaq in a direct listing. It was last up 0.07% on the day at $63,028.