NEW YORK, Dec. 24 -- The U.S. dollar traded mixed against major currencies in late New York trading on Thursday as the euro stayed weak.
Rating agency Fitch Research downgraded Portuguese sovereign debt to A+ from AA- on Thursday. This downgrade put Portugal's sovereign debt rating only three cuts above junk bond status. It placed Portugal on 'Negative Outlook' -- which meant more downgrades might come. Fitch also cut Hungary's long-term foreign currency credit rating to BBB- with a negative outlook on worries about public finances.
The U.S. Labor Department said on Thursday that initial jobless claims fell 3,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 420,000, while a report from the Commerce Department showed spending rose 0. 4 percent after increasing by an upwardly revised 0.7 percent in October.
Also, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment came in at 74.5 in December, highest level since June, showing consumers were more confident about economic prospect.
The euro barely guarded the level of 1.310 against the dollar in late trading session, as investors felt unsafe to sell the euro further.
Analysts said the pair would likely hold above 1.30 in the coming days, with traders reluctant to place big bets before year- end.
In late Thursday trading, the dollar bought 82.89 Japanese yen, comparing with 83.59 late Wednesday, and the euro rose to 1.3114 dollars from 1.3089.
The British pound also rose to 1.5424 dollars from 1.5371. The dollar rose from 0.9527 to 0.9596 against Swiss francs, but fell to 1.0102 Canadian dollars from 1.0137.