Euro rises against the dollar on US economic data

Euro rises against the dollar on US durable goods, jobs data

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- The euro rose to a five-week high against the dollar after the U.S. released encouraging durable goods and jobs reports.

Investors also bought euros after Germany's consumer confidence survey rose in February.

Orders for durable goods rose last month, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Separately, the Labor Department said that claims for unemployment benefits rose last week to 377,000, but economists think the overall report points to a recovering job market.

The euro rose to $1.3104 late Thursday from $1.3084 late Wednesday. The euro rose as high as $1.3184, its highest point since Dec. 21, 2011.

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve said it is unlikely to raise interest rates before late 2014. The announcement put pressure on the dollar. Lower interest rates tend to weigh on a currency by reducing the returns investors get from holding it. The central bank has kept interest rates near zero since cutting them during the financial crisis in December 2008. Keeping rates low is a sign that the Fed thinks the economy still needs help.

The dollar also fell against most other currencies Thursday.

The dollar fell to 77.49 Japanese yen from 77.81 Japanese yen, to 0.9205 Swiss franc from 0.9231 Swiss franc and to 1.0014 Canadian dollar from 1.0053 Canadian dollar.

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