Euro turns higher against dollar on US jobs data

AP News
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Posted: Feb 16, 2012 3:57 PM
Euro turns higher against dollar on US jobs data

The euro turned higher against the dollar Thursday after the U.S. government said the number of people seeking unemployment benefits last week fell to the lowest point in nearly four years.

Before the jobs report was released, the euro was at a three-week low against the dollar because of fears that Greece won't get a $170 billion bailout package it needs to avoid defaulting on its debt next month.

The euro rose to $1.3143 in late trading Thursday from $1.3063 late Wednesday.

The Labor Department said weekly applications dropped 13,000 to 348,000, the fewest since March 2008. Before the report, the euro traded as low as $1.2973 early Thursday _ its lowest point since Jan. 25.

Traders tend to buy riskier currencies, such as the euro, and sell safer currencies, such as the dollar, when they perceive the economic situation to be getting better.

In other trading, the British pound rose to $1.5808 from $1.5691. The dollar fell to 0.9179 Swiss franc from 0.9239 Swiss franc from 99.59 Canadian cents from 99.93 Canadian cents.

But the dollar rose to 78.88 Japanese yen from 78.43 Japanese yen.