Dollar dips vs euro on poor US economic data

New York (Nov 17)   The dollar weakened against the euro on Friday after a batch of lacklustre US economic data bolstered Federal Reserve chair nominee Janet Yellen's support of easy money.

The euro fetched $1.3493 around 2200 GMT, up from $1.3459 at the same time on Thursday.

The dollar, however, edged higher against the Japanese currency, to 100.12 yen from 100.00 yen, while the euro also gained at 135.16 yen, up from 134.61 yen.

Investors had several economic reports to sift through that showed sluggish US growth. The New York Fed's Empire State Manufacturing business conditions index unexpectedly fell in November and, in October, US industrial production dipped and import prices fell.

The data came a day after Yellen, the Fed vice chair, told a Senate panel confirmation hearing that she would not consider ending the central bank's $85 billion a month asset-purchase program as long as growth remained soft and unemployment elevated.

"Today's weaker economic data justifies her dovish bias," said Kathy Lien of BK Asset Management.

Lien said she did not expect the Fed Reserve to taper asset purchases at the Federal Open Market Committee's meeting in December, but that FOMC meetings in January and March are both options.

"We lean towards the latter but if payrolls growth is strong in November and December, the central bank could begin reducing asset purchases shortly after the New Year," she said.

The dollar dipped against the Swiss currency to 0.9141 franc from 0.9160 franc late Thursday.

The pound continued to profit from the Bank of England's upgrade of British growth forecasts on Wednesday, with buyers pushing it up to $1.6113 from $1.6065.