RTTNews - The euro gained slightly on the dollar Thursday in New York as mild strength in global equities added to risk appeal. The European currency also saw nominal strength against the pound.

With the gains on the dollar, the European currency added to yesterday's more notable gains and extended a two-week high. Recent recovery in global stocks has made the higher-yielding euro more attractive.

Also on Thursday, the euro weakened slightly against the yen as the Bank of Japan raised its economic assessment for the third month, citing an increase in public investment and pick-ups in exports and production.

The euro reached 1.4142 against its U.S. rival, its best level since July 1. The European currency has been trending higher throughout the week.

A U.S. Labor Department report showed that jobless claims fell to 522,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 569,000. Economists had been expecting jobless claims to fall to about 530,000 from the 565,000 originally reported for the previous week.

The euro was range-bound against the sterling, remaining near the 0.8600 mark. The pair has been in a range since yesterday afternoon.

Bank of England policymaker Kate Barker told the Hull Daily Mail the U.K.'s quantitative easing is yet to show impact on bank lending.

The euro saw slight weakness against the yen, falling near 132.20. The European currency reached a weekly high of 133.40 yesterday.

In its latest monthly report of recent economic and financial developments, the central bank said Japan's economic conditions have stopped worsening, revising June's view that economic conditions, after deteriorating significantly, have begun to stop worsening.

Thursday, data released by the European Central Bank showed that the current account of the euro area balance of payments showed a deficit of EUR 42.2 billion in the first quarter of 2009. The deficit came in higher than EUR 29.5 billion shortfall recorded for the fourth quarter, downwardly revised from the EUR 22 billion initially estimated.

Italy's trade balance was a surplus of EUR 1.18 billion in May after posting a revised trade deficit of EUR 248 million in April, the statistical office Istat said Thursday. A year ago, the trade balance was a deficit of EUR 84 million.

The French statistical office INSEE reported that the consumer price index dropped 0.5% year-on-year in June, after recording the first annual fall since 1957 in May. Prices were down 0.3% from last year in May. Economists were looking for a year-on-year decline of 0.4% for June.

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