The 13-nation euro dropped against the dollar on Friday after Washington reported the U.S. unemployment rate fell more than expected and the trade deficit narrowed.
In afternoon European trading the euro bought US$1.3098, down from US$1.3135 the night before in New York. The British pound rose slightly to US$1.9305 from US$1.9293 the night before, while the dollar rose to purchase 118.14 Japanese yen from 117.14 in New York.
The U.S. Labor Department reported that the unemployment rate dipped to 4.5 percent in February from 4.6 percent the month before. Economists had predicted it would remain unchanged.
In the meantime, American workers' wages grew 0.4 percent over January, faster than the 0.3 percent gain economists were expecting.
Over the 12 months ending in February, wages grew by 4.1 percent.
Strong wage growth is welcome by workers and supports consumer spending, a key ingredient to the country's economic health, reports AP.
In other economic news, the U.S. Commerce Department reported that the trade deficit narrowed to US$59.1 billion in January as U.S. exports climbed to an all-time high.
Representatives of the Israeli Defence Ministry responded to recent reports about the possible delivery of S-300 SAM systems from Russia to Syria. Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel would destroy those systems
Russia is to start supplying S-300 air defence systems to Syria in the near future. The shipments will be conducted free of charge