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Euro Back Above $1.44 In Thin Year-end Trading

BERLIN (AP) ¿ The euro pushed higher against the dollar in light trading on Thursday, as trading volumes dried up on the last day of the year.

The 16-nation euro bought $1.4414 in morning trading, up from $1.4334 overnight in New York. The British pound also nudged up to $1.6172, from $1.6069 in New York late Wednesday.

The dollar was down to 92.35 Japanese yen, from 92.46 on Wednesday.

There have been big fluctuations over the year in the currency markets, but the dollar is ending the year more or less where it started against the euro, the pound and the yen.

The prevailing trend during much of the year was related to risk appetite ¿ when investors were extremely downbeat as at the start of the year, the dollar was in demand given its widely viewed status as a safe haven currency, but when optimism returned they looked for potential rewards elsewhere and the U.S. currency fell sharply.

However, the dollar has enjoyed a year-end rally as investors believe the U.S. Federal Reserve will start raising interest rates from their current record lows sooner than many of its peers, meaning that a dollar would yield more.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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