* US dollar pares some losses
* US continuing claims rise; underlying inflation benign
* Aussie dollar falls to lowest since Aug 2010
By Curtis Skinner
NEW YORK, Jan 16 The dollar pared some of its
early losses on Thursday, coming under pressure after data
showed a jump in U.S. continuing jobless claims, while the
Australian dollar fell to lows not seen in more than three
The dollar index hit a session low of 80.772 in the morning
following the data. It was last down 0.13 percent to 80.923, but
analysts said the uptrend was still intact for the greenback.
In the United States, continuing jobless claims rose 174,000
to 3.030 million in the week ending Jan. 4, the highest weekly
figure since July. Other data showed core consumer inflation
remained muted, even though overall prices rose thanks to a
spike in gasoline.
"The dollar's fall may reflect bigger-than-expected
continuing claims and some could see that as an argument for the
labor market being not too strong," said Shahab Jalinoos,
currency strategist at UBS in Stamford, Connecticut.
"The intraday ranges are fairly muted and it comes after an
overnight session where the dollar was actually quite strong,"
The Australian dollar tumbled against the U.S. dollar to its
lowest since August 2010 after a surprise fall in Australian
employment that raised the possibility of another cut in
interest rates from the Reserve Bank of Australia.
The Aussie dollar fell as low as US$0.8777, and was last
down 1.12 percent at US$0.08814, continuing a weeklong
trend of weakness.
Investors reacted by reviving talk of another cut in
interest rates from the Reserve Bank of Australia, which has
been signaling it would rather not ease again from the current
record low of 2.5 percent.
"People were already selling into the bounce before we got
to today, and I think today's numbers just pushed people in the
direction that they were already going," said Marc Chandler,
director of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman.
Computer-driven hedge funds, meanwhile, have latched onto
the currency's slide, traders said.
Richard Perry, analyst at Hantec Markets, said that while
technical factors suggest there could be a small bounce in the
Aussie, it could meet resistance between $0.8820 and $0.8863.
"I'd be using that technical rally as a chance to sell. It
does not look good," he said.
The euro was last up 0.08 percent to $1.3614, while
the dollar slid 0.21 percent to 104.33 yen, according to