Investing.com - The dollar was higher against the euro on Thursday after data showed that the recovery in the euro zone slowed this month, while downbeat Chinese factory data also weighed on market sentiment.
EUR/USD hit 1.3686, the lowest since February 14 and was last down 0.31% to 1.3691.
The euro slid after a report showed that the Markit euro zone composite output purchasing managers’ index ticked down to a two month low of 52.7 this month, but remained close to January’s 31-month high of 52.9.
A modest pickup in euro zone service sector activity was offset by an easing the rate of manufacturing output. However, manufacturing activity continued to outperform services activity, due in large part to strong export demand from outside the euro area.
Germany’s composite output index rose to a 32-month high this month, but France’s composite index fell to a two-month low, as service sector activity declined at the fastest rate in nine months.
The dollar was weaker against the yen, with USD/JPY down 0.37% to 101.92.
The safe haven yen was boosted after data on Thursday showed that the preliminary reading of China’s HSBC manufacturing index fell to a seven month low of 48.3 this month, down from 49.5 in January, falling further below the 50 level that separates expansion from contraction.
The data heightened fears over a slowdown in the world’s second largest economy.
Elsewhere, GBP/USD was down 0.13% to 1.6657, while USD/CHF rose 0.28% to 0.8909.
The Australian dollar slipped lower following the Chinese data, with AUD/USD losing 0.15% to trade at 0.8988, while NZD/USD was up 0.21% to 0.8289.
The U.S. dollar edged lower against the Canadian dollar, with USD/CAD dipping 0.07% to 1.070.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.15% to 80.36.
The dollar remained supported after Wednesday’s minutes of the Federal Reserve’s January meeting indicated that that the current pace of its decrease in bond purchases would remain unchanged, so long as the economy shows signs of improvement.
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