RTTNews - The euro continued to trend notably to the upside against the U.S. dollar as global stocks retained most of a recent rally, firming the appeal of higher-yielding currencies. The single currency gave back early gains against the yen and pound.

With the rally, the European currency has erased losses from earlier in the year against its U.S. rival, which had benefited as traders turned to safer investments amid the economic crisis. Risk appetite has picked up in recent weeks on hopes the recession could be nearing an end.

Investors also mulled over data released by Eurostat that showed the Eurozone's unemployment rate continued to rise.

The euro continued its surge against the dollar, extending its highest level of the year to 1.4313. The common currency has added about 15 cents in an upward trend that began in mid-April.

In the U.S., industry data showed that the pending home sales index rose 6.7 percent to 90.3 in April from a reading of 84.6 in March. Economists had been expecting a much more modest increase by the index of about 0.5 percent.

The euro gained slightly on the sterling, moving off of a three-month low. The common currency moved around 0.8630 after dropping below 0.8700 yesterday for the first time in 2009.

On the data front, the Bank of England said the number of loans approved for house purchases in the U.K. increased to 43,201 in April from 40,038 in March. The April level was higher than the previous six months average of 33,845 and 41,000 expected by economists.

The euro was little-changed against the yen after earlier extending a 7 1/2-month high to 137.44.

The Bank of Japan said the monetary base in Japan was up 7.9% on-year in May. That was roughly in line with analyst expectations that had called for an 8% increase after the 8.2% annual gain in April.

On the economic front, the seasonally adjusted jobless rate for Eurozone rose to 9.2% in April from 8.9% recorded in March. This is the highest rate since September 1999 and a touch higher than the 9.1% expected. The number of unemployed persons increased by 396,000 to 14.58 million in April from 14.18 million in March.

The jobless rate for the EU27 stood at 8.6% in April, the highest since January 2006 and up from 8.4% in March. The rate was 6.8% in April 2008.

Elsewhere, a report by Spain's labor ministry said the number of unemployed persons decreased by 24,741 to 3.6 million in May from the preceding month, representing the first decline in 14 months.

The French statistical office INSEE announced that industrial producer prices for the domestic market declined 6.4% year-over-year in April, compared with a 5.5% fall in the previous month. The April producer prices came in line with economists' expectations.

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