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Euro shines on upbeat eurozone economic data

The euro climbed against the dollar Thursday, hoisted higher by encouraging eurozone economic data suggesting the eurozone's recovery is picking up steam.

NEW YORK: The euro climbed against the dollar Thursday, hoisted higher by encouraging eurozone economic data suggesting the eurozone's recovery is picking up steam.

The euro bought $1.3692 around 2245 GMT, up from $1.3544 Wednesday.

The European currency, however, slipped slightly against the yen, to 141.49 yen from 141.59.

The dollar also weakened against the Japanese currency, to 103.34 yen from 104.54.

"The euro is firmer following strong economic data out of the eurozone," said Eric Viloria, currency strategist at Wells Fargo Securities.

The euro rallied on a closely watched report that showed private-sector activity in the eurozone hit a 31-month high in January as a modest recovery gathered pace across the 18-nation bloc.

Markit Economics said its Eurozone Composite Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for January rose to 53.2 points from 52.1 in December, the seventh consecutive monthly rise.

The increase was the fastest rate of growth since June 2011, Markit said, and took the economy further into positive territory.

The yen, meanwhile, benefited as a safe-haven currency as US shares sank following a weak report on Chinese manufacturing activity and lacklustre US corporate earnings.

"The Japanese yen strengthened against most of its major counterparts as market participants scaled back their appetite for risk," said David Song, currency analyst at DailyFX.

The dollar sank to 0.8975 Swiss franc, from 0.9115 franc Wednesday.

The pound fetched $1.6637, firming from the prior day's level of $1.6569.

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