US Dollar rises on weak eurozone, Japan data

New York (Nov 15)  The US dollar advanced against most major currencies on Thursday as economic data from both the euro zone and Japan were below expectations, but the dollar lost some gains after Federal Reserve chairman nominee Janet Yellen's testimony before Congress.

Yellen, current Federal Reserve vice chairwoman, said before the Senate Banking Committee although the US economy is significantly stronger and continues to improve, the nation has " farther to go to regain the ground lost in the crisis and the recession."

She also said, "It's important not to remove support, especially when the recovery is fragile and the tools available to monetary policy, should the economy falter, are limited given that short-term interest rates are at zero."

The euro weakened versus the dollar after official data showed the euro zone only post a 0.1 percent growth in the third quarter, mainly dragged by a contraction in France.

The dollar/yen rate jumped and broke through the level of 100 due to disappointing growth data. Japan's official data showed gross domestic product growth slowed to 1.9 percent in the third quarter from 3.8 percent in the previous quarter.

US economic data on Thursday limited gains of the greenback.

The number of Americans who initially applied for jobless benefits decreased 2,000 to 339,000 in the week ending Nov. 9, reported the Labor Department Thursday. The figure fell short of analysts' expectations of falling to 330,000.

Meanwhile, US trade deficit widened in September as imports increased while exports declined, the Commerce Department said. Data showed the goods and services deficit rose 8 percent to 41.8 billion US dollars in September.

In late New York trading, the euro fell to 1.3456 dollars from 1.3462 dollars of the previous session, and the British pound increased to 1.6056 dollars from 1.6032 dollars. The Australian dollar dropped to 0.9318 dollar from 0.9323 dollar.

The dollar bought 100.04 Japanese yen, higher than 99.36 yen of the previous session. The dollar rose to 0.9163 Swiss franc from 0. 9150 Swiss franc and it edged up to 1.0483 Canadian dollars from 1. 0466 Canadian dollars.