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The euro declined below $1.32 for the first time in six weeks as an industry report showed services and manufacturing in the region shrank at a faster pace in February than economists forecast. The euro declined versus the majority of its 16 most-traded peers as a composite index of factory and services output in the 17-nation currency bloc fell to 47.3 from 48.6 in January, London-based Markit Economics said. Economists forecast a reading of 49, according to the median of 22 estimates in a survey. A reading below 50 indicates contraction.
The 17-nation currency fell for a third day versus the yen on speculation the European Central Bank may have to keep borrowing costs lower for longer to help spur a recovery.
The Dollar Index fell from a five-month high as manufacturing in the Philadelphia region unexpectedly contracted. Fed’s Philadelphia’s general economic index dropped to minus 12.5, the lowest reading since June, from minus 5.8 in January. Readings lower than zero signal contraction in the area covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware.
The yen advanced all of its major peers as former Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Kazumasa Iwata and Asian Development Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda were seen as the leading candidates to head the central bank, the Mainichi newspaper reported today, without citing anyone. Iwata would be the most yen-bearish candidate because he advocates foreign-bond purchases, according to a note from Citigroup Inc. this week.
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