The euro recovered from a 15-month low against the dollar Thursday after positive U.S. jobs and housing data encouraged traders to buy riskier currencies.
The euro had fallen as low as $1.2857 Thursday morning, its lowest point since Sept. 2010, after an Italian bond auction disappointed traders. The country raised less money than expected.
The euro was worth $1.2938 late Thursday, practically unchanged from $1.2941 late Wednesday.
In the U.S., the Labor Department said that the number of people seeking unemployment benefits last week rose 15,000 to 381,000. Even after the increase, the level of applications was consistent with modest hiring. Separately, the National Association of Realtors said its index of home sales agreements jumped 7.3 percent in November to the highest level in a year and a half.
Trading was quieter than normal. Many traders are on vacation the week between Christmas and New Year's. The U.S. stock market will be closed Monday in observance of New Year's Day.
In other trading Thursday, the British pound fell to $1.5395 from $1.5455. The dollar fell to 77.65 Japanese yen from 77.91 Japanese yen, to 0.9415 Swiss franc from 0.9424 and to 1.0212 Canadian dollar from 1.0239 Canadian dollar.