The greenback advanced against a basket of other major currencies on Friday, heading close to a four-year peak before a highly anticipated U.S. employment report due later in the day and as Thursday's jobless claims data also lent strength.
Investors are now awaiting the US nonfarm payroll report, which is expected later in the day, showing that the economy added more than 200,000 jobs for a sixth successful month in August. The dollar remained strengthened after on Thursday the U.S. Department of Labor reported that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending September 27 decreased by 8,000 to 287,000 from the previous week’s revised total of 295,000.
EUR/USD hit session lows of 1.2610, and was last down 0.28% to trade at 1.2632. The euro showed little reaction after official data showed that euro zone retail sales rose 1.2% in August, beating expectations for an uptick of 0.1%, after 0.4% fall in July. Year-on-year, retail sales increased by 1.9% in August, more than the expected 0.5% rise. July's figure was revised to a 0.5% gain from a previously estimated 0.8% rise.
Earlier on Friday, Markit said the euro zone services purchasing managers' index ticked down to 52.4 in September from 52.8 the previous month, confounding expectations for the index to remain unchanged.
Markit also reported that Germany's services PMI rose to 55.7 last month from a reading of 55.4 in August, while France's services PMI fell to 48.4 in September from 49.4 in August. The euro had briefly strengthened on Thursday after the European Central Bank held back from announcing additional easing measures in spite of growing concerns over the threat of deflation in the euro area.
GBP/USD declined 0.36% to three-and-a-half week lows at 1.6087, after Markit said the U.K. services PMI slipped to 58.7 in September from a reading of 60.5 the previous month. Analysts had expected the index to tick down to 59.1 last month.