Dollar Falls on Data from US and Europe

Associated Press

The dollar fell in Europe Thursday as new data showed a drop in U.S. industrial production and unexpectedly strong first-quarter economic growth in Germany.

The euro was up versus the dollar, from $1.5461 the night before in New York. The British pound also rose against the US currency from $1.9441 in New York, while the dollar slipped versus the Japanese yen from 106.38 yen the day before.

The dollar has been hit recently by worries about the U.S. economic outlook and the possibility that the Federal Reserve would be forced to trim interest rates again, after a series of seven cuts since September.

Fed data Thursday showed that U.S. industrial production dropped 0.7 percent last month, more than double the decline that economists had expected. That reflected big cutbacks in auto production and other manufacturing industries.

In Germany, the 15-nation euro zone's biggest economy, data showed that the economy grew by 1.5 percent in the January-March period compared with the previous quarter, its quickest pace in more than a decade.

While the Fed has been cutting interest rates aggressively in an effort to help the U.S. economy, the European Central Bank has kept its own rates on hold, concentrating on the fight against inflation.

Higher interest rates can help bolster a currency by making certain types of investments more attractive.

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