Dollar Ends Higher

The dollar kept to very tight, choppy range trade vs the majors, with traders seemingly taking a more skeptical wait-and-see stance on a surprise drop in weekly jobless claims and to see if a sharp relief-rally in stocks has legs. Friday's triple-header U.S. slate of PPI, retail sales & consumer sentiment may stir-up more action but thin conditions could prevail ahead of the Columbus-Day holiday weekend.

EUR-USD stuck to a chop range of 0.9880 to 0.9845, with the high/lows following the down first/then strong up move in US stock averages. But the strongest part of the relief rally in stocks came after London's close while foreign exchange traders were less impressed by the unexpected drop of 40K in weekly jobless claims.

As such, USD-JPY also initially slipped into Y123.30 lows but thereafter made a staggered climb back to 123.70 as all three major US stock indices made 3% or more gains in afternoon trading. But talk of Japan exporter offers on top were more than enough to cap any speculative follow-thru dollar buying.

Elsewhere, CAD made a modest recovery to just below 1.59 but more foreign exchange losses in Brazil and weaker commodity futures were reminders that global slowdown concerns have not gone away just yet.

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