FRANKFURT, Germany: The euro was down slightly against the U.S. dollar Wednesday following an unexpected rise in U.S. consumer confidence.
The 13-nation euro bought US$1.3434 in morning European trading, down from US$1.3453 in New York late Tuesday.
The slip came after the New York-based Conference Board said Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index rose to 108.0 in May, up from a revised 106.3 in April. Analysts had expected the reading to fall to 104.5.
"Without doubt ... the better than expected U.S. consumer confidence figures are helping," said David Jones, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in London.
U.S. economic data are being watched closely for pointers to the Federal Reserve's future interest rate course. The Fed has left its rates unchanged over recent months, even as the ECB has raised the cost of borrowing.
Higher interest rates, a weapon against inflation, can bolster a currency by making investments denominated in it more attractive.
In other trading, the British pound slipped to US$1.9783 from US$1.9800, while the dollar edged up to 121.59 Japanese yen from 121.55 yen.