US Dollar Drops against Euro

Frankfurt-Germany (Jan 24)  The U.S. dollar dropped against the euro Thursday amid better-than-expected eurozone economic figures.

Markit Economics said Thursday that the Eurozone Composite Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for January rose to 53.2 points from 52.1 in December, the seventh consecutive monthly rise, beating market expectation.

The European Commission's consumer confidence gauge for the eurozone rose to a 30-month high of -11.7 for January, versus the previous month's reading of -13.5.

The U.S. economic data released Thursday was mixed. Initial applications for unemployment benefits in the U.S. rose by 1,000 to 326,000 in the week ending Jan. 18, the Labor Department reported on Thursday, though the figure was still around the lowest level in six weeks.

Data from Markit also showed that the U.S. flash manufacturing PMI dropped to 53.7 in January, down from December's 55, which was an 11-month high. The report reflected the still sluggish expansion of the U.S. manufacturing sector.

Meanwhile, U.S. existing home sales rose 1 percent in December from November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.87 million, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday.

In late New York trading, the euro gained to 1.3698 dollars from 1.3546 dollars of the previous session, and the British pound went up to 1.6631 dollars from 1.6575 dollars. The Australian dollar dropped to 0.8762 dollar from 0.8845 dollar.

The dollar bought 103.18 Japanese yen, lower than 104.41 yen of the previous session. The greenback moved down to 0.8974 Swiss franc from 0. 9116 Swiss franc, and moved up to 1.1115 Canadian dollars from 1.1084 Canadian dollars.