* Dollar headed for 5th consecutive quarter of losses
* Euro steady after German jobs data
(New throughout, updates rates and comments as of U.S. market open; new byline, previous LONDON) NEW YORK, March 29 (Reuters) - The dollar was little changed against a basket of currencies on Thursday, as its rebound from a five-week low, touched earlier this week, ran out of steam and trading activity slowed down ahead of the long Easter weekend in many of the world's largest trading centers. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six other major currencies, was about flat on the day at 90.066. The index was down about 2 percent for the quarter, on pace for its fifth straight quarter of declines. "It's pretty quiet trading. We are coming into the tail end of a shortened week for most people," said Shaun Osborne, chief FX strategist at Scotiabank in Toronto. "I think a lot of the month-end and quarter-end flows probably went through earlier this week just because everyone was looking at today and thinking it was likely to be a thinly traded day," Osborne added. The dollar index rose to a one-week high on Wednesday, helped by end-of-month and end-of-quarter rebalancing of portfolios by global asset and fund managers, which tends to be dollar-supportive. "A lot of the strength we have seen this week is likely to unwind to a large extent next week and beyond," Osborne said. Data on Thursday showed U.S. consumer spending rose marginally for a second straight month in February as households boosted savings, the latest indication that the economy lost momentum in the first quarter. But the economy's fundamentals remained strong, with other data on Thursday showing the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits dropping to more than a 45-year low last week. "I don't think there was any kind of particular surprise," said Vassili Serebriakov, currency strategist at Credit Agricole in New York. "That's why we didn't see a lot of moves in either rates or forex," Serebriakov added. "We are also a bit more sensitive to what's going on in equities and on the trade front as well, so maybe the bar for data surprises is a little bit higher," Serebriakov said. Global markets were shaken this month when U.S. President Donald Trump moved to impose tariffs on Chinese goods, and Beijing threatened similar measures. But fears of a full-blown trade war have eased on hopes that negotiations can bring a compromise. The greenback was 0.52 percent lower against the yen, after rising 1.4 percent over the previous two sessions. The euro edged higher against the dollar after data showing German unemployment falling more than expected pointed to continued strength in the euro zone's largest economy, but failed to hold gains and was trading little changed on the day.
Sterling slipped on Thursday as economic data failed to impress, though the currency remains on course for its best quarter against the dollar since 2015. The Canadian dollar rose against its U.S. counterpart as firmer stock prices offset data showing the domestic economy unexpectedly contracted at the start of the year.
Currency bid prices at 11:04AM (1504 GMT)
Description RIC Last U.S. Close Pct Change YTD Pct High Bid Low Bid Previous Change
Euro/Dollar EUR= $1.2301 $1.2307 -0.05% +2.54% +1.2335 +1.2294 Dollar/Yen JPY= 106.3000 106.8500 -0.51% -5.65% +106.9200 +106.3100 Euro/Yen EURJPY= 130.74 131.47 -0.56% -3.28% +131.6000 +130.7000 Dollar/Swiss CHF= 0.9566 0.9565 +0.01% -1.82% +0.9583 +0.9548 Sterling/Dollar GBP= 1.4031 1.4076 -0.32% +3.84% +1.4096 +1.4019 Dollar/Canadian CAD= 1.2877 1.2921 -0.34% +2.39% +1.2934 +1.2863 Australian/Doll AUD= 0.7677 0.7659 +0.24% -1.59% +0.7687 +0.7644
Euro/Swiss EURCHF= 1.1768 1.1774 -0.05% +0.68% +1.1796 +1.1764 Euro/Sterling EURGBP= 0.8764 0.8743 +0.24% -1.34% +0.8770 +0.8739 NZ Dollar/Dolar NZD= 0.7215 0.7210 +0.07% +1.82% +0.7219 +0.7189 Dollar/Norway NOK= 7.8444 7.8621 -0.23% -4.42% +7.8775 +7.8442 Euro/Norway EURNOK 9.6509 9.6758 -0.26% -2.01% +9.6931 +9.6517 Dollar/Sweden SEK= 8.3552 8.3495 +0.03% +1.87% +8.3848 +8.3319 Euro/Sweden EURSEK= 10.2800 10.2770 +0.03% +4.48% +10.3302 +10.2748
(Editing by Jon Boyle and Will Dunham)