RTTNews - The euro saw strength versus major rivals Tuesday in New York as data confirmed the German economy recovered from the worst recession since World War II.

The Federal Statistical Office report, released on Tuesday, showed that the largest Eurozone economy grew slightly for the first time, following four quarter-on-quarter decreases in a row. The economy expanded 0.3% sequentially in the second quarter, after contracting 3.5% in the first quarter.

Meanwhile, stocks moved higher in the U.S. and Europe, adding to risk appeal. When equities gain, the euro often rises against lower-yielding currencies such as the dollar and yen.

The euro rallied as high as 1.4360 against the U.S. dollar, challenging a 2 1/2-week high. If the common currency tops 1.4375 it will reach its best level since August 7.

The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index jumped to 54.1 in August from an upwardly revised 47.4 in July. Economists had been expecting the index to increase to 47.9 from the 46.6 originally reported for the previous month.

The euro extended a 2 1/2-month best versus the British pound. The 16-member currency reached as high as 0.8764, its best mark since early June.

UK mortgage approvals hit the highest since February 2008 amid dynamic housing market activity, a report from the British Bankers' Association showed Tuesday. Approvals for house purchases showed a steady increase in the last seven months. The number of mortgages approved in July totaled 38,181 compared to 35,564 in June. Mortgage approvals for July also exceeded the expected level of 37,800 and surged 76.7% from the prior year.

The euro edged higher amid choppy trading against the Japanese yen, erasing an overnight slump. The pair moved near 135.00 in the early afternoon.

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