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Dollar strengthens on positive US economic data

NEW YORK -- A pair of better-than-expected U.S. economic reports pushed the dollar higher against most major currencies Wednesday.

Payment processor ADP said that U.S. companies added 162,000 workers to their payrolls in September. That's more than economists expected, but still down from August's total of 189,000.

The Institute for Supply Management said its index of service companies rose to 55.1 in September, the highest level since March. Economists expected that it would drop to 53.4.

The euro fell to $1.2899 in late trading Wednesday from $1.2917 late Tuesday. The British pound fell to $1.6072 from $1.6140.

The dollar rose to 78.52 Japanese yen from 78.13 yen, to 0.9390 Swiss franc from 0.9364 Swiss franc and to 98.82 Canadian cents from 98.42 Canadian cents.

The dollar also rose against the Australian dollar, the New Zealand dollar, the Norwegian krone and the Honk Kong dollar.