Euro rises to 11-week high against the dollar

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — The euro rose to an 11-week high against the dollar Friday on increasing optimism about the global economy.

The dollar hit a seven-month high against the yen, a week after the Bank of Japan announced a surprise increase of its economic stimulus program.

Investors are also looking ahead to a weekend meeting of the finance ministers from the world's 20 leading economies. The focus of the meeting will be on promoting global economic stability and growth.

The euro rose to $1.3466 in afternoon trading Friday from $1.3337 late Thursday. The euro rose as high as $1.3486 earlier in the day, its highest point since Dec. 5.

The euro rose to a two-month high on Thursday after business confidence surged in Germany. Investors interpreted the results that Germany is recovering even as many other countries that use the euro are struggling.

Better U.S. economic data is also helping push the euro higher. On Thursday, the U.S. government said that the number of people seeking unemployment benefits last week was unchanged. The four-week average was the lowest in four years.

Riskier currencies such as the euro tend to rise when investors think economic conditions are getting better.

The Japanese was worth 80.98 yen late Friday, after rising to 80.99 yen earlier in the day. That was the dollar's highest point against the yen since July 8.

The yen has been weakening against the dollar ever since the Bank of Japan's increase of its economic stimulus program on Feb. 14.

In other trading, the British pound rose to $1.5889 from $1.5716. The dollar fell to 0.8947 Swiss franc from 0.9041 Swiss franc.

The dollar rose to 1.0002 Canadian dollar from 99.88 Canadian cents.

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