The euro was generally stronger on Friday, as US stocks rebounded following comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
While the nation’s top central banker provided no specifics, he said the Federal Reserve stands ready to provide further stimulus if the economic situation deteriorates rapidly.
The US economic recovery has petered out in the last few quarters amid lingering problems in the jobs market.
The government downwardly revised its estimate for second quarter GDP growth to 1.6% from an initial reading of 2.4%. Still, the downward revision was less severe than feared, giving stocks a shot in the arm.
The euro rose to a weekly high $1.2778 versus the dollar, staying well away from June’s 4-year low of $1.1805.
Against the resurgent yen, the euro rallied away from a recent 9-year low, touching a weekly high of Y108.72.
Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan said on Friday that officials will take bold steps when necessary to address excessive volatility in the currency market. He also put pressure on the Bank of Japan to step up new measures to address deflation.
Meanwhile in the US, Bernanke acknowledged that economic activity has been “somewhat less vigorous” than policymakers were expecting.
“The task of economic recovery and repair remains far from complete…. growth during the past year has been too slow and joblessness remains too high,” Bernanke told an annual gathering of fellow central bankers and noted economists in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.