Investing.com - The U.S. dollar was mostly higher against its major counterparts in the last Asian session of the week. Traders appeared to be bidding the dollar higher on the back of some decent U.S. economic news and embracing the greenback as a safe haven as it is now apparent U.S. politicians will break for the Christmas holiday with no resolution for the fiscal cliff.
In Asian trading Friday, EUR/USD slid 0.35% to 1.3197. EUR/USD settled higher by 0.11% at 1.3242 during Thursday's U.S. session. The pair was likely to find support at 1.3144, Monday's low, and resistance at 1.3308, Wednesday's high.
In U.S. economic news, the Commerce Department released the final reading of U.S. third-quarter GDP growth, which showed an increase of 3.1% topping the consensus estimate of 2.8%. Personal consumption increased 1.6%. That topped the estimate calling for an increase of 1.4%.
The National Association of Realtors said U.S. home sales jumped 5.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million in November up from a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.76 million in October. The November reading represents the highest level in three years.
The Philadelphia Federal Reserve said its manufacturing index for December rose to 8.1 from negative 10.7 in November. Economists expected a December reading of 4.
Those three data points seemed to help traders overlook the fact that the Labor Department said weekly jobless claims rose by 17,000 last week to 361,000. Economists expected a reading of 360,000 new claims. The less volatile four-week moving average fell by 13,750 to 367,750, good for a two-month low. U.S. joblessness currently rests at a rate of 7.7%.
Elsewhere, yen gained strength against the greenback even after the Bank of Japan announced an additional 10 trillion yen worth of asset buying. USD/JPY slipped 0.61% to 83.88.
Sterling was also lower against the dollar with GBP/USD spotted at 1.6249, down 0.19%. USD/CHF added 0.34% to 0.9148 while USD/CAD climbed 0.18% to 0.9896.
With House Speak John Boehner pulling the so-call Plan B fiscal cliff solution, which would have allowed tax increases for the most affluent Americans, the dollar surged against riskier currencies in Asian trade.
AUD/USD slid 0.33% to 1.0448 while NZD/USD slipped 0.37% to 0.8309. The Dollar Index climbed 0.23% to 79.48.
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