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Dollar Falls vs Euro after Mixed US Data

The dollar fell against the euro on Thursday as U.S. data on construction and jobless benefits delivered a mixed picture, while major American banks reported better-than-expected earnings.

The 15-nation euro rose against the dollar in afternoon European trading.

In other trading, the British pound also rose, moving up versus the greenback. But the dollar rose against the Japanese yen .

U.S. stocks showed early gains as JPMorgan Chase reported a smaller-than-expected 53 percent decline in second-quarter profit — figures that followed stronger-than-expected results Wednesday from another bank, Wells Fargo.

While those results appeared to prop up confidence in the troubled U.S. banking sector, a Commerce Department report on housing starts was mixed.

It found that construction of homes and apartments rose in June by 9.1 percent — but most of the gain resulted from a change in New York laws that gave a boost to apartment building. Construction of single-family homes fell by 5.3 percent to its slowest pace in 17 years.

Also on Thursday, the U.S. Labor Department reported that the number of newly laid-off people signing up for jobless benefits rose by 18,000 last week to 366,000 — below the number that economists had expected.

On Tuesday, the euro hit a new record high of $1.6038 amid worries over the fallout from the U.S. subprime lending crisis.

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