FOREX-Dollar gains over euro as data shows strong U.S. economy

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* U.S. retail sales, jobless claims show strong economy

* Euro hurt by weak manufacturing data (Updates prices)

By Karen Brettell

U.S. retail sales increased by the most in 1-1/2 years in March as households boostedpurchases of motor vehicles and a range of other goods, the latest indication that economicgrowth picked up in the first quarter after a false start.

The economy's enduring strength was underscored by other data on Thursday showing thenumber of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits dropped to the lowest innearly 50 years last week.

The picture was less bullish in the euro zone as data showed that activity in Germany'smanufacturing sector shrank for a fourth straight month in April, while a similar survey fromFrance also painted a bleak picture.

"In the space of several hours we got a timely reminder that the growth leadership isvery decisively in favor of the U.S. dollar," said Richard Franulovich, head of FX strategyat Westpac Banking Corp in New York.

Investors have been looking for signs that global growth is stabilizing after a slowdown.

"Investors are worried about the health of the global economy and the eurozone and thefortunes of the euro are closely tied with that," said Ricardo Evangelista, a senior analystat ActivTrades in London.

A week ago, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi raised the prospect of moresupport for the struggling euro zone economy if its slowdown persist.


Currency bid prices at 1:52PM (1752 GMT) Description RIC Last U.S. Close Pct YTD Pct High Bid Low Bid

Previous Change Change

Session Euro/Dollar EUR= $1.1228$1.1294 -0.58 -2.10 +1.1305 +1.1227 Dollar/Yen JPY= 111.9400 112.0500 -0.10 +1.52 +112.0700 +111.7800 Euro/Yen EURJPY= 125.67 126.54 -0.69 -0.44 +126.6000 +125.6500 Dollar/Swiss CHF= 1.0153 1.0103 +0.49 +3.45 +1.0159 +1.0093 Sterling/Dollar GBP= 1.2987 1.3043 -0.43 +1.80 +1.3053 +1.2980 Dollar/Canadian CAD= 1.3378 1.3338 +0.30 -1.90 +1.3399 +1.3336 Australian/Doll AUD= 0.7143 0.7178 -0.49 +1.33 +0.7199 +0.7137 ar Euro/Swiss EURCHF= 1.1400 1.1414 -0.12 +1.30 +1.1422 +1.1367 Euro/Sterling EURGBP= 0.8645 0.8657 -0.14 -3.77 +0.8669 +0.8637 NZ NZD= 0.6674 0.6726 -0.77 -0.64 +0.6730 +0.6673 Dollar/Dollar Dollar/Norway NOK= 8.5229 8.4911 +0.37 -1.34 +8.5597 +8.4867 Euro/Norway EURNOK= 9.5710 9.5976 -0.28 -3.38 +9.6314 +9.5700 Dollar/Sweden SEK= 9.3132 9.2466 +0.11 +3.90 +9.3350 +9.2391 Euro/Sweden EURSEK= 10.4593 10.4475 +0.11 +1.90 +10.5034 +10.4400

(Additional reporting by Saikat Chatterjee in LondonEditing by Susan Thomas and Bernadette Baum) ((Karen.Brettell@thomsonreuters.com; +1 646 223 6274; Reuters Messaging:karen.brettell.reuters.com@reuters.net))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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