Dollar extends gains vs yen after U.S. data, Bernanke

New York Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:20am EST

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New York Feb 26 (Reuters) - The dollar extended gains against the Japanese yen and pared losses against the euro on Tuesday on a slew of U.S. data and after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke strongly defended the U.S. central bank's bond-buying stimulus.

Bernanke, before Congress on Tuesday, said the benefits of the Fed's bond buying program, called quantitative easing, clearly exceed possible costs.

Meanwhile, new U.S. single-family home sales surged to their highest level in 4-1/2 years in January and U.S. consumer confidence picked up much more strongly than expected in February.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond's monthly service index turned positive in February.

The dollar last traded at 92.18 yen, up 0.4 percent on the day. It had been trading at about 91.98 before the data and Bernanke.

The euro last traded at $1.3064, flat on the day. It had been trading at about $1.3108 before the news, according to Reuters data.

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