The euro remained near one-week highs against the U.S. dollar on Friday, as downbeat U.S. employment data continued to weigh on the greenback, although comments by the European Central Bank limited the single currency''s gains.
EUR/USD hit 1.3663 during U.S. morning trade, the pair''s highest since January 3; the pair subsequently consolidated at 1.3674, gaining 0.49%.
The pair was likely to find support at 1.3549, Thursday''s low and resistance at 1.3702, the high of December 26.
The dollar weakened broadly after official data showed that the U.S. economy added 74,000 jobs in December, compared to expectations for a 196,000 increase, after an upwardly revised 241,000 rise the previous month.
The U.S. private sector added 87,000 jobs last month, disappointing expectations for 195,000 rise, after an upwardly increase of 226,000 in November.
The report also showed that the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 6.7% in December, from 7.0% in November. Analysts had expected the rate to remain unchanged last month.
But the euro remained under pressure after ECB President Mario Draghi on Thursday reinforced the bank’s forward guidance on rates and said the bank was still ready to ready to take "further decisive action" if needed.
Draghi reiterated that monetary policy will remain accommodative for as long as is needed in order to assist the economic recovery in the euro area. The ECB expects interest rates to remain at present or lower levels for an extended period of time, he said.
Earlier Friday, official data showed that industrial production in France climbed 1.3% in November, exceeding expectations for a 0.4% rise, after a downwardly revised 0.5% decline the previous month.
The euro was also higher against the pound, with EUR/GBP rising 0.38% to 0.8288.
Demand for sterling was hit after data on Friday showed that U.K. manufacturing production was flat in November, disappointing expectations for a 0.4% rise, after a downwardly revised 0.2% uptick the previous month.
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