The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, according to figures from the Labor Department.
Canada has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization against the US, claiming it has broken international trade rules.
The euro has snapped higher after rate-setters in Frankfurt dropped a hint that they might harden their so-called 'guidance' for their policy settings.
Eurozone industrial production jumped more than expected in November and the bloc headed into 2018 on the front foot.
Commodities were little changed on Wednesday despite the generally risk-off tone in other markets on the back of a report that China might be mulling reducing or stopping its purchases of US government debt.