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The yen was the worst performer among the 17 most-traded currencies as European stocks rebounded and data showed the euro-region economy is improving, boosting demand for higher-yielding assets.
Euro-area industrial output rose for a fifth month in February, stoking bets that the European Central Bank will tighten policy further after last week’s interest-rate increase.
Production in the euro area rose 0.4% in February, European Union statistics showed today.
Commerce Department figures scheduled for release today at 12:30 GMT are expected to show U.S. retail sales gained 0.5% in March.
“The market’s view that the global economy remains on a recovery track is unlikely to push stocks and commodity prices down much further,” said Daisaku Ueno, president of Gaitame.com Research Institute Ltd. in Tokyo, a unit of Japan’s largest currency margin company. “That may reduce demand for the yen as a refuge.”
New Zealand’s dollar rose to best performer against the dollar after the Real Estate Institute said its index of house prices increased for a second month in March. Australian dollar rallied from near a one-week low versus the yen after an industry report showed consumer confidence improved in April.
The pound touched the lowest in almost six months against the euro as a report showed U.K. jobless claims unexpectedly increased in March even as unemployment declined.
Sterling erased earlier gains versus the dollar. Jobless benefit claims rose by 700 from February to 1.451 million, the Office for National Statistics said today in London. That compared with the median forecast of a drop of 3,000. Unemployment fell to 7.8% from 8%.
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