- The euro was little changed against the U.S. dollar on Friday, hovering near three-week highs as Thursday''s upbeat euro zone data continued to support demand for the single currency.

EUR/USD hit 1.3679 during late Asian trade, the session low; the pair subseqently consolidated at 1.3692, easing 0.03%.

The pair was likely to find support at 1.3638, the low of January 13 and resistance at 1.3775, the high of January 2.

The euro strengthened after a larger than expected increase in euro zone private sector activity this month indicated that the recovery in the euro area is strengthening.

On Thursday, Markit said the euro zone’s composite output index rose to a 31-month high of 53.2 in January, up from a final reading of 52.1 in December, as growth picked up in Germany and the rate of decline eased in France.

Manufacturing activity in Germany expanded at the fastest pace since May 2011 this month.

Meanwhile, demand for the dollar remained under pressure as data on Thursday showed that initial jobless claims rose in line with expectations last week, but the number of continuing jobless claims remained above the three million mark for the second successive week.

In addition, U.S. factory output fell to a three-month low in January, due to disruption from unseasonable cold weather.

The U.S. manufacturing PMI declined to 53.7 this month from a final reading of 55.0 in December. Analysts had expected the index to hold steady.

The euro was steady against the pound, with EUR/GBP inching up 0.02% to 0.8234.

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