The New Zealand dollar gained on Thursday despite a wider than expected trade deficit in October while the yen also strengthened and the Aussie fell in thin trade with U.S. markets shut for a holiday . New Zealand’s October trade balance showed a deficit of NZ$908 million, with a deficit of NZ$645 million expected month-on-month, but still well below a NZ$1.35 billion deficit in September. NZD/USD traded at 0.7876, up 0.10%, after the data. USD/JPY changed hands at 117.66, down 0.06%, while AUD/USD traded at 0.8542, down 0.08%, ahead of data sets from Sydney. At 1130 in Sydney (0030 GMT), Australia’s third quarter private new capex data is due. The consensus is for a 1.7% quarter-on-quarter fall after a 1.1% rise in the second quarter. Overnight, a mixed bag of U.S. indicators that contained few nuggets and a bevy of disappointments weakened the dollar against most major currencies on Wednesday by prompting investors to push back estimates as to when the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates next year. The Labor Department reported earlier that the number of individuals filing new applications for unemployment benefits rose to 313,000 last week, a gain of 21,000. It was the highest level since early September, confounding market calls for a decrease of 5,000. The number of continuing claims fell to a 14-year low of 2.31 million, indicating that the jobs market is still recovering. At the same time, the Commerce Department reported that U.S. personal spending rose 0.2% in October, below forecasts for an increase 0.4%. Personal income also rose 0.2%, falling short of forecasts of 0.4%, which took its toll on the greenback. While many expect the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in 2015, the timing of such a move remains up in the air, and Wednesday’s data weakened the dollar by prompting investors to push back timetables later next year. Elsewhere, the Census Bureau reported that durable goods orders rose 0.4% last month, beating expectations for a decline of 0.4%, but core durable goods orders, which are stripped of volatile transportation components, fell 0.9%, against forecasts for a 0.5% gain. Also on Wednesday, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s final consumer sentiment index hit 88.8 from 86.9 in October, though still below the preliminary estimate of 89.4. Industry data revealed that the Chicago purchasing managers’ index fell from 66.2 in October to 60.8 this month, below expectations of a figure of 63.1. Finally, data showed that sales of new homes rose 0.7% in October to an annual rate of 458,000 units, but pending home sales unexpectedly fell 1.1% last month. The US dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.01% at 87.71. U.S. markets will be closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday.