The U.S. dollar continued to rise against most of the other major currencies Thursday as a sting of better-than-expected economic data showed U.S. economy is improving. The advance figure for seasonally adjusted jobless initial claims stood at 336,000 in the week ending Aug. 17, an increase of 13,000 from the previous week\'s revised figure of 323,000, the U.S. Labor Department said on Thursday. The four-week moving average, a less volatile gauge, was 330, 500, a decrease of 2,250 from the previous week\'s revised average of 332,750. The preview of U.S. manufacturing Purchasing Managers\' Index for August provided by Markit rose to a five-month high of 53.9, higher than July\'s final reading of 53.7 and in line with market expectations. Moreover, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) house price index for June gained 0.7 percent after rising 0.8 percent in May, showing the housing sector continues to mend. Encouraging American economic data signaled a likely reduction of its massive asset purchase programs this year. The minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) released Wednesday, showed broad support for Chairman Bernanke\'s taper timeline. Members of the FOMC were \"broadly comfortable\" with the plan to start trimming down bond buying later this year if the economy improves. In late New York trading, the euro lost to 1.3353 dollars from 1.3376 dollars of the previous session, and the British pound decreased to 1.5585 dollars from 1.5698 dollars. The Australian dollar went down to 0.8999 dollars from 0.9025 dollars. The dollar bought 98.58 Japanese yen, higher than 97.75 yen of the previous session. The dollar moved up to 0.9238 Swiss francs from 0.9213 Swiss francs, and it moved up to 1.0525 Canadian dollars from 1.0459 Canadian dollars.