The euro strengthened against its most major rivals in the European session on Friday amid risk appetite, as China industrial production grew at a faster pace than expected in April, signaling a gradual recovery from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sentiment was also underpinned by talk of further stimulus in the United States and China.

The flash estimate from Eurostat showed that the euro area economy contracted at the sharpest pace on record in the first quarter due to the measures taken to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Gross domestic product fell 3.8 percent sequentially in the first quarter, in contrast to a 0.1 percent rise in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Separate data showed that employment declined for the first time since 2013. Employment was down 0.2 percent in the first quarter from the previous quarter, when it was up 0.3 percent.

Year-on-year, employment growth eased to 0.3 percent from 1.1 percent in the fourth quarter. This was the lowest increase since the first quarter of 2014.

Another report from Eurostat showed that the euro area exports logged its biggest fall since January 2009, as Covid-19 containment measures had a significant impact on international trade in goods.

Exports decreased 8.9 percent on month in March. At the same time, imports fell 9 percent, the biggest drop on record.

The euro appreciated to 0.8862 against the pound, after falling to 0.8827 at 5:00 pm ET. The next possible resistance for the euro is seen around the 0.90 level.

The euro edged up to 1.0820 against the greenback, from a low of 1.0793 hit at 3:00 am ET. The currency is likely to face resistance around the 1.10 region, if it gains again.

The euro ticked up to a 2-day high of 1.0524 against the franc, up from Thursday's closing value of 1.0513. On the upside, resistance is likely seen near the 1.10 level.

The European currency rebounded to 1.5205 against the loonie, from a low of 1.5156 set at 3:00 am ET. Next key resistance for the euro is likely seen around the 1.55 level.

The single currency held steady against the aussie and the kiwi and was trading at 1.6741 and 1.8057, respectively. This followed a brief recovery from Asian session's multi-day lows of 1.6693 against the aussie and 1.7963 versus the kiwi for the euro. At Thursday's close, the euro was worth 1.6715 against the aussie and 1.7995 versus the kiwi.

In contrast, the euro fell to 115.69 against the yen, compared to Asian session's 2-day high of 116.08. The euro may face support around the 112.00 level.

Data the Bank of Japan showed that Japan producer prices fell 1.5 percent on month in April - missing forecasts for a decline of 0.9 percent, which would have been unchanged from the March reading.

On a yearly basis, producer prices sank 2.3 percent versus forecasts for a decline of 1.6 percent following the 0.4 percent drop in the previous month.

Looking ahead, U.S. retail sales and industrial production for April, business inventories for March and University of Michigan's preliminary consumer sentiment index for May are scheduled for release in the New York session.

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