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updated: 3/13/2013 10:40 AM

Dollar gets lift from strong retail sales report

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Associated Press

NEW YORK -- The dollar is rising against other major currencies following an unexpectedly strong increase in U.S. retail sales last month.

Americans spent at the fastest pace in five months in February, lifting retail sales 1.1 percent, despite higher payroll taxes.

The euro fell close to a three-month low against the dollar, trading at $1.2932 versus $1.3026 late Tuesday. A relatively weak Italian bond auction helped push the euro lower.

The British pound is regaining some of the ground it lost against the dollar earlier in the week. The pound was worth $1.4914, up slightly from $1.4909 late Tuesday.

The dollar rose 96.10 Japanese yen, up from 95.93 yen. The yen has been weak because traders expect the new head of the Bank of Japan to ease monetary policy.

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