The dollar fought back from a seven-week low against the euro on Thursday, helped by a technical bounce and some disappointing economic news from Europe and China.
Economic news from the U.S. was generally positive this morning.
The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index for the U.S. increased 0.3 percent in January to 99.5, suggesting the world’s largest economy did not lose much momentum despite severe winter weather.
And layoff activity moderated a bit last week, according to new government statistics released Thursday.
The U.S. Labor Department revealed that initial jobless claims fell 3,000 to 336,000 for the week ended February 15. This followed an unrevised reading of 339,000 in the previous week.
Coupled with yesterday’s Federal Reserve minutes indicating the central bank intends to press ahead with tightening measures, the dollar managed to strengthen against most major rivals.
The dollar improved to $1.369 versus the euro, having touched $1.3765 during the previous session.
German producer prices fell 1.1 percent year-over-year in January, steeper than the 0.5 drop in December and the 0.8 percent decline expected by economists.
Eurozone’s private sector economy expanded for the eighth successive month in February, but the pace of improvement slowed unexpectedly as recovery remains fragile and uneven, a closely-watched survey revealed Thursday.
The flash composite output index, which measures the performance of manufacturing and services, fell to 52.7 in February from January’s 31-month high of 52.9, results of the Purchasing Managers’ survey by Markit Economics showed.
The buck rose in kind versus the British pound, advancing to $1.663 from near $1.67.
The day’s biggest gains came against the aussie dollar, which was stung by worrisome Chinese manufacturing data. The greenback rallied to $0.894 against the aussie, picking up 0.3 percent.
Little movement was seen against the yen, with the dollar holding near Y102.35.
Asia’s economic headlines were dominated by weaker-than-anticipated Chinese manufacturing figures.
CHINA’S manufacturing output has fallen to the lowest point in seven months, according to flash PMI data.