The EUR was driven higher vs. the U.S Dollar yesterday by data showing an improvement in Euro-Zone economic sentiment in July, as well as an unexpected fall in German unemployment, which was seen as an encouraging sign for the region's recovery prospects. The European currency also gained more ground versus the Yen to hit session highs on Thursday as a sharp rally in stocks boosted risk appetite. The EUR rose as high as 134.86 Yen, and finished trading at 134.67 Yen.
The EUR rose dramatically against the USD to $1.4128, rebounding from a 2 week low near the $1.40 level. The Euro-Zone single currency briefly pared gains after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the EUR exchange rate looks somewhat on the strong side relative to its fundamentals. According to analysts, the EUR may pare its monthly gains against the U.S Dollar today prior to reports that will show deflation deepened in the 16-nation area, and job losses increased.
The GBP leaped against the U.S. Dollar on Thursday, after a report showed British house prices climbed in July for a 3rd month. This led the British Pound to extend its gains, hitting a 4 week high against the EUR. The Pound also gained against the EUR and USD due to a report released yesterday showing British consumer confidence at its highest level since April 2008. This was yet another sign that Britain is rising out of the recession. Analysts expect much of the gains for the EUR and GBP may continue throughout today's trading.