RTTNews - The euro was slightly higher against its major rivals as global stocks advanced, adding risk appeal. A mixed-bag trade surplus report from the Eurozone led to some uncertainty from traders.

The Eurozone recorded trade surplus for the second month in May, but the fall in imports and exports underlines the sluggish demand at home and abroad.

The euro moved slightly higher against the dollar after erasing a mild slide in the early morning. The pair moved near 1.4130 in the early afternoon.

The U.S. Commerce Department revealed that housing starts rose 3.6 percent to an annual rate of 582,000 units in June from a revised pace of 562,000 units in the previous month. Economists were expecting the figure to remain relatively stable with the pace of 532,000 units that was originally reported for May.

The euro edged up to a four day high of 0.8658 against the British pound. The European currency moved to the higher end of a trading range that has spanned July.

The euro also gained within a range against the Japanese yen, moving near 133.00 in mid-day trading. The pair has been in a range since Wednesday.

The Cabinet Office of Japan in a final report revised down the leading index for May to 76.9 from 77 reported on July 6. Economists expected the index to come in at 76.8. In April, the index stood at 76.2.

Meanwhile, a report released by Eurostat said the trade surplus in the Eurozone stood at EUR 1.9 billion in May, on an unadjusted basis, narrowing from a surplus of EUR 2.7 billion in the preceding month. Economists expected the trade balance to be flat. Exports fell 24% year-on-year in May to EUR 97.7 billion, slower than a 26% fall in the preceding month. Imports were down 27% annually to EUR 96.8 billion in May, at the same pace as in April.

Italian current account deficit contracted to EUR 422 million in May from EUR 6.3 billion deficit recorded last year, the Bank of Italy said today. The current account deficit contraction was led by an increase in goods trade surplus to EUR 2.2 billion from the previous year's EUR 1.2 billion surplus.

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