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    Dollar holds onto modest gains ahead of UoM report

    The dollar held onto modest gains against the other major currencies on Friday, as the previous session’s upbeat U.S. jobless claims report continued to support the greenback and investors eyed the release of consumer sentiment later in the day.

    USD/JPY was down 0.26% at 106.82.

    The U.S. dollar regained some ground after the Department of Labor said on Thursday that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending June 4 decreased by 4,000 to 264,000 from the previous week’s revised total of 268,000.

    Analysts had expected jobless claims to rise by 3,000 to 270,000 last week.

    But sentiment on the greenback remained vulnerable as markets pushed back expectations on the timing of the next rate hike by the U.S. central bank after last week’s dismal employment report for May, which showed the slowest rate of jobs growth since September 2010.

    In addition, a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Monday indicated that interest rates won’t rise until uncertainty over the economic outlook is resolved.

    Yellen said she expects the economic recovery to continue but gave no indications on the timing of a next rate increase.

    EUR/USD edged down 0.13% to 1.1302, the lowest since June 3.

    The euro remained under pressure after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi warned on Thursday that weak growth in the euro zone could cause “lasting dammage” to the region.

    The dollar was higher against the pound, with GBP/USD down 0.37% at 1.4403 and was lower against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF slipping 0.12% to 0.9632.

    The Australian and New Zealand dollars were weaker, with AUD/USD down 0.39% at 0.7400 and with NZD/USD shedding 0.23% to 0.7087.

    Elsewhere, USD/CAD added 0.19% to 1.2747.

    The commodity currencies weakened as oil prices moved lower for a second consecutive session on Friday amid profit-taking.

    Investors were also eyeing the release of Canadian employment data due later in the day.

    The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.11% at a one-week high of 94.20.

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