The dollar rose against major currencies on Thursday, supported by lackluster U.S. and global economic data, while the euro eased ahead of the release of results from an audit of Spanish banks.
The dollar's bounce reflects "fundamentally weak growth signals in Europe and in China," said Richard Hastings, a macro strategist at Global Hunter Securities.
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Spanish borrowing costs rise
The Spanish Treasury sold more than the maximum €2 billion ($2.54 billion) worth of bonds it had planned to offer Thursday, but paid a steep price to do so. Joe Ortiz has the latest. Photo: AP
The dollar index DXY +0.56% , which measures the greenback's performance against a basket of six currencies, rose to 82.005, from 81.888 just before the U.S. economic data released at 10 a.m. Eastern. It traded at 81.567 in late North American hours on Wednesday.
The dollar extended gains after the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region fell to negative 16.6 in June, its lowest level since August 2011, from negative 5.8 in May. Read more on Philly Fed.
Separately, the National Association of Realtors said U.S. existing-home sales for May yielded a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 4.55 million, down from a pace of 4.62 million in April. Read more on existing home sales.
The Conference Board also said Thursday that its index of leading economic indicators rose 0.3% in May, and the risk of a downturn in the second half of this year is relatively low. Read more on leading indicators.
The dollar index was up earlier after a closely-watched gauge of manufacturing in China showed further contraction in June and after data indicated only a slight decline in weekly U.S. jobless claims.
Although the dollar index has climbed, "we have a long way to go back to the 83 level, and that would require disappointments in the upcoming earnings season, or a major auction failure in Europe," said Hastings.
"So far, I'd give more weight to the earnings season risk to the markets because the global bond markets are finding enough of a price cut to justify the risk of buying and trading Spain's debt," he said.
The euro EURUSD -0.7984% dropped to $1.2606, compared with $1.2673 in late North American trading Wednesday.
Spain stole the spotlight after its government saw its borrowing costs rise at a bond auction.
The results of an audit of the Spanish banking sector due later Thursday are expected to show recapitalization needs of around €60 billion to €80 billion ($76 billion to $101 billion). In addition, euro-zone finance ministers will meet in Brussels Thursday to discuss the region's debt crisis, among other topics.
In other currencies trade, the dollar USDJPY +0.9228% rose to 80.18 Japanese yen, compared with ¥79.47 late Wednesday.
The British pound GBPUSD -0.4542% slipped to $1.5652 from $1.5703 Wednesday.
The dollar rose on Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve said it would extend its holdings of long-term government bonds by $267 billion in an effort to reduce borrowing costs. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank was ready to take more action if necessary.