NEW YORK, May 17 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. dollar rose against major currencies in late New York trading on Thursday, logging the 14th consecutive gain as concerns about the European debt crisis continued to stimulate risk-aversion appetite.
Rating agency Fitch on Thursday downgraded Greece's sovereign debt ratings from B- to CCC, as the risk of the country's departure form the eurozone may further deteriorate its solvency.
Also, the auction of Spain's government bonds saw hiking yields, suggesting rising borrowing cost for the country. The euro continued its downward trend as concerns about the European debt crisis impeded investors' confidence in the shared currency.
Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve said on Thursday that its manufacturing index dropped to -5.8 in May from 8.5 in April, marking the first negative reading since last September.
Also, the Leading Economic Index for the United States dropped 0.1 percent to 95.5 in April, after six months of increase, according to a report released by the Conference Board on Thursday. The weak economic data also boosted investors' risk-aversion appetite.
The U.S. Labor Department reported that initial jobless claims were unchanged at 370,000 last week, reflecting the slowing recovery of the job market.
The dollar index rose 0.016 points to 81.540 on Thursday.
In late Thursday trading, the dollar bought 79.28 Japanese yen, compared with 80.29 late Wednesday. The euro fell to 1.2714 dollars from 1.2725.
The British pound also fell to 1.5816 dollars from 1.5917. The dollar rose from 0.9437 Swiss francs to 0.9447, and also went up to 1.0174 Canadian dollars from 1.0112.