The euro reached its highest level in 14 months against the dollar Thursday, trading at a peak of $1.359. It fell back to $1.3579 by late in the day.
News that German unemployment declined in January from the month before gave the 17-nation currency a boost, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The euro gained 2.9 percent against the dollar in January, its biggest jump since October 2011. That makes six months in a row that the euro has risen against the dollar, its longest consecutive climb since May 2003.
The euro also strengthened against the yen in January, rising 8.8 percent—its biggest monthly jump since December 2000.
"For the past four years, we've been fretting about a 'perfect storm' crisis in the euro zone," Michael Woolfolk, chief currency strategist at BNY Mellon, told the Wall Street Journal. "Now we're seeing a return of confidence, and this, of course, is positively impacting the currency."