Investing.com - The U.S. dollar extended gains against the euro but turned lower against the yen on Tuesday, after weak euro zone economic data and speculation over a French ratings downgrade bolstered demand for safe haven assets.
During U.S. morning trade, the greenback hit session highs against the euro, with EUR/USD down 0.35% to 1.3069.
The euro fell against the dollar after official data showed that the unemployment rate in the euro zone hit a new record high of 11.8% in November, up from 11.7% in October, underlining concerns over the outlook for growth in the region.
Meanwhile, German factory orders fell 1.8% in November, compared to expectations for a 1.4% drop as overseas demand declined.
A separate report showed that euro zone retail sales increased 0.1% in November, disappointing expectations for a 0.3% rise.
Elsewhere in the euro zone, the European Stability Mechanism, the region's permanent bailout fund, successfully sold EUR1.92 billion of short-term debt in its first debt auction on Tuesday.
The euro had found support earlier in the session after Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said his government would buy bonds issued by the ESM in order to help stabilize the financial situation in the bloc.
Meanwhile, France's finance minister dismissed talk of an imminent cut to the country's credit rating, saying speculation was unfounded.
The dollar hit session lows against the yen, with USD/JPY falling 0.78% to 87.11.
The greenback was higher against the pound and the Swiss franc, with GBP/USD down 0.53% to 1.6030 and USD/CHF rising 0.39% to 0.9247.
The greenback pushed higher against its Canadian, Australian and New Zealand counterparts, with USD/CAD gaining 0.18% to trade at 0.9876, AUD/USD sliding 0.24% to 1.0478 and NZD/USD losing 0.39% to trade at 0.8338.
Earlier Tuesday, official data showed that Australia's trade balance widened to AUD2.6 billion in November from AUD2.4 billion in October, the largest deficit in nearly five years.
The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.19% to 80.52.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to release official data on consumer credit.
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