The US dollar retreated against most major currencies on Thursday and it slipped against the euro after the European Central Bank (ECB) left benchmark interest rate unchanged.
However, euro's gains were moderate as the ECB reaffirmed its accommodative monetary policy would be in place "for as long as necessary, which will assist the gradual economic recovery" in the area. "Such a constellation continues to suggest that we may experience a prolonged period of low inflation, to be followed by a gradual upward movement," ECB President Mario Draghi said in a statement.
On U.S. economic front, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims decreased 15,000 to 330,000 last week, the U.S. Labor Department said on Thursday, modestly below market forecasts.
The greenback strengthened against its major counterparts in the past two sessions. Minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting, which was issued on Wednesday, indicated it may reduce bond-buying scale steadily in the coming months.
The minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting in December showed policymakers saw diminishing economic benefits from the quantitative easing and expressed concern about financial risks.
The central bank announced the first tapering of its massive asset purchases by 10 billion dollars starting in January. Fed officials will meet again on Jan. 28-29 to discuss the next move of withdrawing from its monetary stimulus.
Investors are now awaiting the non-farm payroll report for the final month of 2013 due to be published by the Labor Department on Friday.
In late New York trading, the euro rose to 1.3590 dollars from 1.3578 dollars of the previous session, and the British pound increased to 1.6470 dollars from 1.6447 dollars. The Australian dollar dropped to 0.8888 dollar from 0.8907 dollar.
The dollar bought 104.77 yen, lower than 104.82 yen of the previous session. The greenback moved down to 0.9083 Swiss franc from 0.9109, and went up to 1.0866 Canadian dollars from 1.0806.