The U.S. dollar climbed against the euro on Friday to its highest in more than a week, boosted by a much weaker-than-expected German manufacturing survey, but the greenback slid against the Japanese yen on growing worries about the U.S. economy.
Businesses across the euro zone performed much worse than expected in March as factory activity contracted at the fastest pace in nearly six years, hurt by a big drop in demand, a survey showed on Friday.
The euro was 0.69 percent lower at $1.1295, after slipping as low as $1.1288 its weakest since March 13.
The weak factory data raised concerns that the German economy, Europe’s powerhouse, may be slowing quickly.
“It helps to reinforce the idea that we are looking at a more meaningful and more widespread slowdown than markets had anticipated a few months ago,” said Karl Schamotta, director of foreign exchange strategy and structured products at Cambridge Global Payments.
The euro’s weakness was a relief for the greenback, which had come under pressure earlier this week after the Federal reserve surprised investors by abandoning all plans to raise rates this year.
“You had this enormous dovish surprise and that helped to clobber the dollar for maybe a day,” said Schamotta.
“What we are seeing is sort of a recognition that the Fed is reacting to deeper risks in the global economy,” he said.
On Friday, the spread between three-month Treasury bills and 10-year note yields inverted for the first time since 2007 on Friday after PMI manufacturing data missed estimates. An inverted yield curve is widely understood to be a leading indicator of recession.
“You have to take it seriously that it is a signal for slowing growth or a potential recession in the next 12 to 18 months. This is what the Fed looks at closely,” said Sean Simko, head of global fixed income management at SEI Investments Co. in Oaks, Pennsylvania.
The dollar was 0.64 percent lower against the Japanese yen, its lowest since Feb. 11.
Sterling, weighed down by fears Britain could crash out of the European Union on March 29 without a deal in place, recovered overnight when European Union leaders gave Prime Minister Theresa May a two-week reprieve to decide how Britain will leave the European Union.
The pound was 0.64 percent higher against the dollar.
The Canadian dollar weakened to an 11-day low against its U.S. counterpart as data supported the view of a slowing Canadian economy that rules out more near-term Bank of Canada interest rate hikes.