New York: The US dollar strengthened as investors digested positive economic data that point to robust US housing and labour markets.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, rose 0.29 per cent at 97.8545 in the late trading on Thursday, Xinhua news agency reported.
In late New York trading, the euro was down to $1.1171 from $1.1203 in the previous session, and the British pound decreased to $1.2791 from $1.2843 in the previous session. The Australian dollar was down to $0.6893 from $0.6927.
The US dollar bought 109.84 Japanese yen, higher than 109.55 Japanese yen of the previous session. The US dollar rose to 1.0101 Swiss franc from 1.0092 Swiss franc, and it increased to 1.3462 Canadian dollars from 1.3438 Canadian dollars.
US initial claims, or the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits fell sharply by 16,000 to 212,000 in the week ending May 11, the US Labor Department said Thursday, which marks a fairly low level in recent years.
Privately-owned housing starts, or construction on new houses, picked up at an annual rate of 1,235,000 in April, a 5.7 per cent increase from the revised March estimate of 1,168,000, said the US Census Bureau on Thursday.