US Dollar Gains Strength in 2013

The U.S. dollar strengthened against most of major currencies but slipped versus Japanese yen Tuesday after data showed euro-zone unemployment rose again.

With a lack of important U.S. statistics this week, data from the euro area posed larger effect on the market.

The euro-zone jobless rate increased to 11.8 percent in November from 11.7 percent in October, according to the statistical office of the European Union.

In addition, Germany, the growth powerhouse in the area, reported that its exports slid 3.4 percent from the previous month.

Despite downbeat job data, euro-zone economic confidence increased more than expected in December. The index of executive and consumer sentiment rose to 87 from 85.7 in November, said the European Commission Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank will hold its policy meeting on Thursday and analysts generally predict the bank would not cut the benchmark interest rates further.

The dollar retreated against the yen for a second day from a 29- month high. The Bank of Japan will have a policy meeting on Jan. 21-22.

In late New York trading, the euro dropped to 1.3083 dollars from 1.3112 dollars of the previous session and the British pound slipped to 1.6059 dollars from 1.6107.

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