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Dollar gains on U.S. economic optimism

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01/17/2020 | 02:40pm EST
U.S. dollar notes are seen in this picture illustration

The greenback rose to a one-week high against the euro on Friday as economic data pointed to solid economic growth, and reduced fears about an impending slowdown.

U.S. homebuilding surged to a 13-year high in December as activity increased across the board, suggesting the housing market recovery was back on track amid low mortgage rates.

It comes after data on Thursday showed that U.S. retail sales increased for a third straight month in December, while a gauge of manufacturing activity in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region rebounded in January to its highest level in eight months.

"The last couple of sessions we've gotten some pretty good data," said Bipan Rai, North American head of FX strategy at CIBC Capital Markets in Toronto.

"There was a little bit of concern by the Federal Reserve with regard to the health of the consumer and household market in the U.S., but it seems like yesterday's retail sales numbers and also the housing data from yesterday and today have assuaged some of those fears for the time being," Rai said.

The euro fell 0.41% against the dollar to $1.1089.

The Japanese yen was little changed on the day, after weakening earlier on Friday as record high stocks reflected stronger risk appetite.

U.S. stock indexes were driven higher by optimism over corporate earnings, upbeat economic data and indications of resilience in China's economy. [.N]

Data on Friday showed that China's economy ended the year on a firmer note, even as economic growth cooled to its weakest in nearly 30 years.

"December data signalled a strong finish for the Chinese economy and that suggests the Chinese economy may be primed for a rebound in 2020," said Lee Hardman, a currency strategist at MUFG in London.

The yen rose hit 110.28, the weakest since May, before falling back to 110.12.

The offshore Chinese yuan also strengthened as far as 6.8567, the strongest since July.

By Karen Brettell

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR / JAPANESE YEN (AUD/JPY) -0.36% 73.446 Delayed Quote.-3.13%
BRITISH POUND / JAPANESE YEN (GBP/JPY) -0.16% 142.623 Delayed Quote.-0.59%
CANADIAN DOLLAR / JAPANESE YEN (CAD/JPY) -0.16% 82.83 Delayed Quote.-0.92%
EURO / JAPANESE YEN (EUR/JPY) -0.14% 118.858 Delayed Quote.-2.30%
JAPANESE YEN / SWISS FRANC (JPY/CHF) 0.09% 0.8935 Delayed Quote.0.31%
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR / JAPANESE YEN (NZD/JPY) -0.42% 70.426 Delayed Quote.-3.13%
US DOLLAR / JAPANESE YEN (USD/JPY) -0.09% 109.744 Delayed Quote.1.02%
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