Investing.com - The dollar hit fresh four-month lows against other major currencies on Friday, as Thursday's downbeat U.S. economic reports continued to weigh and as investors eyed the release of key U.S. retail sales and inflation data due later in the day.

The greenback came under pressure after the U.S. Department of Labor reported on Thursday that initial jobless claims increased to 261,000 last week, compared to expectations for a drop to 246,000.

A separate report showed that the producer price index fell 0.1% last month, confounding expectations for a 0.2% rise.

The U.S. dollar had gained ground earlier in the day after China’s foreign exchange regulator said that a report about Beijing slowing or halting its U.S. bond buying may be based on erroneous information and could be "fake".

Bloomberg reported this week that Chinese officials reviewing foreign-exchange holdings had recommended slowing or halting purchases of U.S. bonds. China is the largest foreign holder of U.S. government debt.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.55% at 91.16 by 05:15 a.m. ET (09:15 GMT).

The euro and the Swiss franc was higher, with EUR/USD up 0.77% at 1.2125 and with GBP/USD climbing 0.54% to 1.3611.

The single currency remained strongly supported after the European Central Bank said it could consider a gradual shift in guidance from early 2018, according to the minutes of its December meeting.

The yen and the Swiss franc were stronger, with USD/JPY down 0.15% at 111.11 and with USD/CHF declining 0.47% to 0.9712.

Elsewhere, the Australian remained weaker, with AUD/USD down 0.18% at 0.7878, while NZD/USD held steady at 0.7257.

Official data earlier showed that China's exports increased more than expected by 10.9% in December, while imports rose by only 4.5% compared to expectations for a 13.0% climb.

China is Australia's biggest export partner and New Zealand's second biggest export partner.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD was almost unchanged at 1.2519.