The dollar gained against other major currencies on Thursday following government data showing that unemployment figures fell for the second consecutive week.

In Thursday currency trading the euro was worth $1.3152 while the pound was valued at $1.9611 and the dollar traded at ¥117.86, regaining 2006 losses on the Japanese currency.

The dollar was also bolstered by a report released Wednesday showing a one per cent rise in retail sales, following two months of losses and above expectations of a 0.1 per cent rise.

"We should not be too pessimistic about the future course of the US economy, which is why the dollar bounced," said Kikuko Takeda of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.

"There is a possibility the Fed does not cut rates next year but keeps a wait-and-see stance," he told Reuters
Predictions of a rate cut early in the new year, made by some analysts, receded following the positive economic data.