Dollar off lows after upbeat U.S. data

The dollar regained ground against the other main currencies on Thursday after upbeat U.S. data on manufacturing and employment pointed to underlying strength in the economy.

USD/JPY was last trading at 102.24, recovering from session lows of 102.24.

The dollar found support after data showed that the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia reported that its manufacturing index rose to 16.6 in April, the highest level since September, from 9.0 in March. Analysts had expected the index to tick up to 10.

Separately, the Labor Department reported that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending April 12 rose by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 304,000, close to the six-and-a-half year low of 300,000 touched the previous week.

Analysts had expected jobless claims rise to 315,000.

The dollar softened against the other main currencies earlier Thursday after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said that monetary policy will need to remain accommodative for some time, citing slackness in the labor market and low inflation.

The euro pared gains against the dollar, with EUR/USD up 0.14% to 1.3834, off highs of 1.3864.

In the euro zone, data on Thursday showed that German producer price inflation fell 0.3% in March from a month earlier and was down 0.9% on the year. This was below expectations for a 0.1% increase on the month and a 0.7% decline on the year.

The weak data added to concerns over the risk of deflation in the euro zone.

Sterling eased against the dollar, with GBP/USD trading at 1.6809, after rising to four-and-a-half year highs of 1.6842 earlier.

Demand for the pound continued to be underpinned after data on Wednesday showed that the U.K. unemployment rate fell to a five year low of 6.9% in the three months to February. The upbeat data bolstered expectations that the BoE could raise interest rates as soon as the first quarter of 2015.

The dollar pared losses against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF slipping 0.10% to 0.8808.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars turned lower, with AUD/USD down 0.30% to 0.9341 and NZD/USD losing 0.42% to trade at 0.8588.

Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar moved higher, with USD/CAD sliding 0.22% to 1.0988.

The loonie, as the Canadian dollar is also known, found support after data on Thursday showed that the annual rate of inflation in Canada jumped 1.5% in March, accelerating at the fastest pace since June 2012.

The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.14% to 79.80, after falling as low as 79.65 earlier.