NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ The dollar was little changed against the euro Thursday after a pair of mixed U.S. economic reports. The Japanese yen jumped against the dollar on expectations that the Bank of Japan will increase its bond-buying program to help the country's economy.
The U.S. Labor Department said the number of applications for unemployment was little changed from the previous week, a sign that hiring will likely remain modest. After the disappointing report, the dollar fell to a three-week low against the euro.
The dollar recovered from those lows after The National Association of Realtors said that pending home sales rose to the highest level in nearly two years. That's as a sign that the U.S. housing market is slowly improving.
By late Thursday, the euro was trading at $1.3239. It was worth $1.3230 late Wednesday.Traders also got mixed messages about the economy from the Federal Reserve Wednesday. The Federal released a statement after its two-day policy meeting without mentioning new steps to help the economy. But chairman Ben Bernanke said late Wednesday that more bond purchases to help the economy remain "very much on the table." Elsewhere, economists believe that the Bank of Japan will modestly increase its bond-buying program Friday. It would be the second time this year that the central bank has bought more government bonds to boost the economy. The dollar fell to 80.95 Japanese yen late Thursday from 81.29 yen Wednesday. In other trading, the British pound rose to $1.6198 from $1.6182. The dollar fell 0.9079 Swiss franc from 0.9081 Swiss franc. The dollar rose to 98.37 Canadian cents from 98.29 Canadian cents.