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Originally published Thursday, June 2, 2011 at 7:30 AM

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Dollar declines as weak jobs data raises worries

The dollar is sliding against the euro Thursday as a government jobs report underscores worries about weakening momentum in the labor market.

The Associated Press

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NEW YORK —

The dollar is sliding against the euro Thursday as a government jobs report underscores worries about weakening momentum in the labor market.

In afternoon trading in New York, the euro rose to $1.4425 from $1.4374.

While employers added jobs at the fastest pace in five years from February to April, economists expect that a report due out Friday will show weakening job additions in May. Several economists have cut their expectations for economic growth.

On Thursday, the Labor Department said the number of new applications for unemployment benefits dropped to a seasonally adjusted 422,000. Economists say applications need to fall below 375,000 for sustainable jobs growth.

A separate report from the U.S. Commerce Department showed that businesses cut back on their orders of heavy machinery, computers and autos in April. Orders to U.S. factories fell 1.2 percent in April as component parts because harder to get after the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Also giving the euro a boost Thursday were comments made by European Central Bank head Jean-Claude Trichet, said UBS currency strategist Chris Walker in a note to clients. Trichet called for eurozone officials to have more control on how its 17-nation members spend their money to stave off future debt problems in countries like Greece.

In other trading Thursday, the British pound edged up to $1.6319 from $1.6360. The dollar fell to 80.72 Japanese yen from 80.97 yen but rose to 0.8434 Swiss franc from 0.8424 Swiss franc. The dollar also rose to 97.93 Canadian cents from 97.48 Canadian cents.

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