Euro trims gains against dollar after U.S. data

The euro trimmed gains against the dollar on Thursday after data showed that manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region rose more than forecast in April, while initial jobless claims remained close to six-and-a-half year lows reached last week, pointing to underlying strength in the economy.

EUR/USD was last up 0.14% to 1.3834, off session highs of 1.3864.

The pair was likely to find support at 1.3802, Wednesday’s low and resistance at 1.3875.

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.

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 report came a day after data confirmed that the annual rate of euro zone inflation slowed to 0.5% in March, the lowest since November 2009.

Core inflation, which strips out volatile items like food and energy costs, fell to 0.7% from 1.0% in February, matching the record low reached in December 2013.

Euro zone inflation has now been in the European Central Bank's danger zone of below 1% for six straight months, fuelling speculation that policymakers will need to implement fresh stimulus measures to shore up the fragile recovery in the euro area.

Over the weekend, ECB President Mario Draghi that further gains in the euro would trigger additional monetary easing to keep inflation from falling.

The euro little changed against the yen, with EUR/JPY edging up 0.05% to 141.32 as trade remained thin ahead of the long Easter weekend.