Euro hits 17-month high vs dollar

The euro jumped to its highest level against the dollar in 17 months Wednesday, topping the $1.39 level as traders voted more confidence in the eurozone.

Analysts said that although eurozone industrial production dropped 0.2 percent in January from December, the pace marked an improvement and it was consistent with an economy picking up pace.

At 2100 GMT the euro was at $1.3904, compared with $1.3863 late Tuesday.

During trade it hit $1.3915, matching the 17-month peak reached last Friday.

The euro advanced against the Japanese currency, to 142.85 yen from 142.73, while the dollar fell to 102.75 yen from 102.95 yen.

The British pound was flat at $1.6618 while the dollar slipped to 0.8736 Swiss franc from 0.8776 franc.

"Albeit disappointing,the mild (industrial output) drop in January does not contradict the constructive message of manufacturing surveys," said Marco Valli, economist at UniCredit.

"There appears to be room for industrial production to play catch-up with soft data in the coming months," he said, forecasting first-quarter growth in the eurozone at 0.4 percent over the previous quarter.