RTTNews - The euro saw modest weakness against major rivals Friday in New York as traders showed reluctance to invest in the higher-yielding currency as Group of Eight finance ministers met in Italy.

The common currency fell in early trading against the dollar, but recovered much of the slump following a lackluster consumer sentiment report from the U.S. Meanwhile, the euro continued its downward momentum against the British pound amid hopes the end of UK economy could be headed toward recovery.

Meanwhile, official data showed industrial production in the euro area fell at its fastest pace on record in the face of sluggish demand.

Members of the G8 nations are scheduled to meet today and tomorrow in Lecce, Italy. The G8 summit is scheduled for July 8-10, in L'Aquila.

The euro was slightly lower amid choppy trading with the U.S. dollar, moving near 1.4025. In general, the pair has been uncertain through the week as investors await the Federal Reserve's next move.

The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment report showed a preliminary reading for June of 69.0 compared to a reading of 68.7 in May. Economists had been expecting a somewhat more notable increase to a reading of 69.5.

The euro fell modestly against the sterling and against extended a seven-month low to 0.8480. The common currency has been trending lower since last Friday when it moved as high as 0.8866.

Paul Fisher, Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee member said Friday that there are signs of slowing in the rate of contraction in the economy, but the U.K. should not be complacent.

The euro was little-changed against the yen near 137.75 after recovering a modest slump below 137.00 earlier in the day. The European currency has been level near a multi-month high throughout June.

Factory output dropped 21.6% year-on-year in April after falling a revised 19.3% in March, the Eurostat said. Meanwhile, economists had forecast a decline of 19.8%. On a monthly basis, production was down 1.9% following a fall of 1.4% in the previous month.

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