The euro traded at a one-month high against the U.S. dollar Thursday after Germany reported its fastest pace of economic growth in five years and inflation readings around the European Union continued to accelerate.
The single currency was pegged at 1.0675 against the greenback by 12:45 GMT, a 0.63% gain on the session that took it to the highest level since Dec. 8, when the European Central Bank unveiled a tapering of its quantitative easing program.
Minutes of that meeting, published Thursday in Frankfurt, showed that some members of the Bank's Governing Council -- the equivalent to the Federal Reserve's FOMC -- "could not support either of the two options that had been proposed, while welcoming the scaling down of purchases."
Germany's Federal Statistics Office said GDP in Europe's biggest economy expanded a 1.9% clip last year, the best reading since 2011, as robust consumer and government spending offset a slowdown in exports.
The strength of private consumption, if maintained into the coming year, could be a key driver in lifting moribund inflation rates around the region, a move that allow the ECB to ease some of its myriad stimulus programmes, steepen the region's bond yield curve and put the region's banks in a better position to generate profits and pay dividends.
The data followed confirmation in France that the country's inflation rate of 0.8% was the fastest in nearly 3 years and figures from Eurostat, the region's statistics office, that showed industry output in November surged by 1.5% from the previous, blasting forecasts of a 0.5% gain, as factories ramped-up production on non-durable consumer goods in advance of the Christmas holiday sales.
Bond market reaction to the data, however, was muted given the pullback in global stocks that followed President elect Donald Trump's Wednesday press conference and the decline of the U.S. dollar that followed. Benchmark 10-year German bund yields fell 1 basis point to a one-week low of 0.21%.
Last week, Eurostat said Eurozone inflation accelerated at its fastest pace in more than three years in December as energy prices surged on the back of gains for global crude oil.
"Don't forget that higher oil prices also have a negative impact on the purchasing power of companies and households," ECB Executive Board member Benoit Coeure told Germany's Boersen-Zeitung newspaper on Dec. 31. "Moreover, it is unclear how these developments will impact underlying price pressures, if at all. Speaking personally, I don't exclude upside risks to inflation in 2017 if the reflationary impact of the new US policies dominates."
Annual inflation was measured at 1.1% for December, Eurostat said, up from a 0.6% reading in November and the fastest pace in 39 months. So-called core inflation, which strips out volatile price components such as food, energy, alcohol and tobacco prices, was measured at 0.9%, up 0.1 percentage points from November to the fastest pace since July.