Dollar up on signs US economy slowly improving

NEW YORK - The dollar is rising against the euro on signs that the U.S. economy is slowly improving.

The Labor Department says that weekly applications for U.S. unemployment benefits fell last week to 369,000. That's consistent with modest hiring.

The Commerce Department says orders for durable goods rose 9.9 percent in September, mostly due to a spike in aircraft orders. And the National Association of Realtors says its index of home sale agreements rose in September.

The euro fell to $1.2954 in afternoon trading from $1.2973 late Wednesday.

In Britain, the government says the country has emerged from a nine-month recession. The British pound rose to $1.6118 from $1.6036

The dollar rose to 80.11 Japanese yen from 79.78 yen.