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The euro has hit its lowest level since the start of January, shrugging off strong economic data amid broad gains for the dollar the previous day.
The single currency hit $1.5020 against the dollar in early trading, a fall of 0.1 per cent on the day and its weakest level since 11 January.
The fall comes despite further signs of healthy growth in the eurozone economy, with figures from IHS Markit on Tuesday showing the currency bloc’s composite purchasing managers’ index (PMI) leapt to its highest level in almost six years in February.
But comments on Monday from Federal Open Market Committee voting member Patrick Harker, who said that the Fed should consider hiking rates next month, helped the greenback rise against all its major peers on Tuesday. The dollar index hit 101.6 in late trading on Tuesday, its strongest level in a week.
Kit Juckes, a strategist at Société Générale, said that an opinion poll earlier in the week showing increased support for anti-euro far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen could also be playing a “marginal role” in euro weakness.
He said that the strong PMI figures provided “further evidence of the European growth acceleration that will give the euro wings when or if it can get free of its political shackles”.