MOSCOW, Dec 25- Russia's rouble strengthened in early trade on Thursday, as exporters continued to sell foreign currency, but trading volumes were thin as many Western markets were closed for the Christmas Day holidays. At 0724 GMT, the rouble was 1.8 percent stronger against the dollar at 52.45 and gained 1.9 percent to trade at 64.31 versus the euro.» Read More
Gold hit a 28-year high on Friday as the dollar's continued slide to record lows versus the euro raised the metal's appeal to speculative investors.
The Canadian dollar hit parity with the U.S. dollar for the first time in 31 years Thursday, capping a 62 percent rise from 2002 on the back of booming commodity prices and a deepening disenchantment with the greenback.
The dollar rallied from a 15-year low against a basket of currencies Wednesday, as investors bet the Federal Reserve's interest rate cut Tuesday will help boost a slowing U.S. economy.
The dollar touched a record low versus the euro on Tuesday after the Federal Reserve cut the U.S. benchmark lending rate by half a percentage point, the first cut in four years, in a bid to boost the U.S. economy.
The British pound fell below $2 for the first time this month on Monday as thousands of depositors pulled money from U.K. lender Northern Rock. At the same time, the dollar was slightly weaker against most other currencies ahead of an expected U.S. interest rate cut.
The euro zone's trade surplus was smaller than expected in July, unadjusted data showed on Monday, but exports continued to grow more quickly than imports.
The dollar edged up against the yen and steadied against the euro Friday after soft data on U.S. consumers left traders scaling back currency bets ahead of an expected U.S. interest rate cut next week.
German Economy Minister Michael Glos said on Friday he feared the euro would remain strong and turbulence on financial markets would continue.
The dollar rebounded against the yen and euro Thursday as investors resumed buying the U.S. currency after nearly a week of declines, although expectations of a cut in U.S. interest rates capped gains.
The dollar fell to a record low against the euro on Wednesday as investors braced for the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates next week, rendering dollar-denominated assets less attractive to global investors.
The European Central Bank lent commercial banks 75 billion euros ($104 billion) in three-month funds Wednesday, 25 billion euros more than in a previous operation last month, the bank said on its Web site.
The dollar slid to near a record low versus the euro Tuesday, as traders bet a slowing U.S. economy will prompt a Federal Reserve rate cut next week, while the European Central Bank holds steady for some time.
The dollar fell near record lows Monday against the euro, weighed down by last week's disappointing U.S. jobs data and chances that an interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve is on the way.
The dollar slid to a 15-year low against major currencies Friday as data showed U.S. payrolls fell last month for the first time in four years, raising recession fears and pressure for the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates.
Euro-zone interest rates have further to rise, European Central Bank Governing Council member Axel Weber said on Friday, although other policymakers stressed no move is imminent given uncertainty over the credit crunch.
The eurozone finance ministers' chairman said on Friday French President Nicolas Sarkozy was neither noble nor correct to claim some of the credit for the European Central Bank's decision to keep interest rates on hold.
The European Central Bank kept its key monetary policy rate flat at 4% on Thursday due to persistent turbulence in the financial markets because of fears of a spillover of the U.S. subprime crisis.
Another rise in euro-zone interest rates looked assured last month, but the turmoil in the credit markets has brought pressure on European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet to keep rates at 4%.
A sharp drop in investment and government spending more than halved quarterly euro zone growth for April to June, but this is unlikely to stop further ECB interest rate rises as analysts expect the economy to pick up.
The dollar steadied versus the euro and yen on Monday at the start of a busy week for U.S. data which should shed light on the extent to which the credit markets turmoil is taking a toll on growth.