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

* U.S. retail sales, jobless claims show strong economy
* Euro hurt by weak manufacturing data

(Updates prices)
By Karen Brettell
NEW YORK, April 18 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar gained to its strongest level against the
euro in over a week on Thursday as data pointed to a sturdy U.S. economy, while the euro was
dented by weak manufacturing activity in Europe.
U.S. retail sales increased by the most in 1-1/2 years in March as households boosted
purchases of motor vehicles and a range of other goods, the latest indication that economic
growth picked up in the first quarter after a false start.
The economy's enduring strength was underscored by other data on Thursday showing the
number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits dropped to the lowest in
nearly 50 years last week.
The picture was less bullish in the euro zone as data showed that activity in Germany's
manufacturing sector shrank for a fourth straight month in April, while a similar survey from
France also painted a bleak picture.
“In the space of several hours we got a timely reminder that the growth leadership is
very decisively in favor of the U.S. dollar,” said Richard Franulovich, head of FX strategy
at 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 the
fortunes of the euro are closely tied with that," said Ricardo Evangelista, a senior analyst
at ActivTrades in London.
A week ago, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi raised the prospect of more
support 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
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
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/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 London
Editing by Susan Thomas and Bernadette Baum)

First Published: 2019-04-18 02:38:51
Updated 2019-04-18 20:00:56

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