RTTNews - The dollar took a breather on Friday as traders considered this week's mixed bag of economic data, including another upbeat figures on new home construction.

Government data released Friday showed that new home building activity picked up again in June, following up on a sharp jump seen in the previous month.

A rise in permits pointed to signs of increased building down the road as well - raising some hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel for the battered home building sector.

Still, positive news about the world's biggest economy may actually be weighing on the dollar, as increased risk appetite leads traders to pick up higher-yielding currencies like the euro.

The dollar had a tough week versus the euro as equities advanced around the world. On Friday, the buck stood practically still, moving a narrow range near 1.4100. Yesterday, the buck slipped to a 2-week low of 1.4165.

Eurozone recorded trade surplus for the second month in May, but the fall in imports and exports underlines the sluggish demand at home and abroad. The seasonally adjusted trade surplus was EUR 800 million in May, up from EUR 700 million in April, data released by the Eurostat showed Friday.

The dollar firmed up very slightly to 1.6340 versus the sterling, staying away from a 2-week low of 1.6479. With the advance, the dollar stayed away from a 7-month low of 1.6744 set back in June.

Against the yen, the dollar crept a bit higher to 94.10, but remained withing hailing distance of Monday's 5-month low of 91.74.

The dollar barely budged versus the loonie as Canadian consumer prices data revealed deflation in June, caused mostly by a huge drop in gas prices. The buck held near 1.1180, less than a penny from its monthly low of 1.1113 from earlier this week.

Canadian consumer prices fell 0.3% in June compared with June 2008, following a 0.1% increase in May, according to data released Friday by Statistics Canada. It was the first 12-month decline in the all-items Consumer Price Index (CPI) since November 1994.

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