The resource-linked currencies like Australian, Canadian and New Zealand dollars edged higher against their major counterparts in early New York trading on Friday as traders seek riskier currencies after the release of an upbeat U.S. retail sales data.

Driven in part by a jump in auto sales, U.S. retail sales increased by more than expected in the month of September, according to figures released by the Commerce Department.

The report showed that retail sales came in at $395.5 billion in September, representing a 1.1 percent increase over August figures. While economists had expected an increase in sales, most had expected a more modest 0.8 percent increase.

Excluding the automotive sector, retails sales still posted better than expected growth, rising by 0.6 percent. Economists had predicted a 0.4 percent increase.

The Australian dollar touched 4-week highs of 79.53 against the yen and 1.0330 against the US dollar following the data. On the upside, the aussie may find target levels at 1.04 against the greenback and 80.0 against the yen.

The Australian currency also climbed to more than a 3-week high of 1.3424 against the euro and a 3-month high of 1.2877 against the NZ dollar in early New York deals on Friday. If the aussie strengthens further, it may find resistance levels at 1.30 against the kiwi and 1.3380 versus the euro.

The New Zealand dollar touched fresh 3-week highs of 61.95 against the yen and 0.8045 against the US dollar. The kiwi is presently worth 0.8025 against the buck and 61.75 versus the yen with 0.8250 and 63.20, respectively seen as the next likely upside target levels.

Against the euro, the NZ dollar rose above a 1-week high of 1.7253 around 9:20 am ET. The pair moved slightly off thereafter and is currently trading around the 1.73 area. If the kiwi strengthens further, 1.7220 is seen as the next likely target level.

The Canadian dollar advanced to a 4-day high of 1.3971 against the euro and a 2-day high of 76.33 against the yen. The next probable upside target levels for the loonie are seen at 1.3880 against the common currency and 76.50 against the yen.

Against the US dollar, the Canadian currency touched 1.0114 and this set the highest level for the domestic dollar since September 22. On the upside, the loonie may find target around the 1.0050 level.

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