Dollar at 10-day high, break of technical barrier prompts euro sales

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The dollar rose on Thursday as a combination of technical trading and a theme of strong U.S. economic data and potential weakness in the euro zone weighed down the continental currency.

Analysts said the falling below a technically important level around $1.07 against the dollar triggered orders by traders to sell, pushing the currency lower against the greenback. That helped sink it to $1.0686, its lowest since March 15.

That move added to the dollar's gains against a basket of major currencies, which was trading modestly higher before the euro's selloff. The index rose to a 10-day high of 100.42.

It was the combination of selling at around $1.07, U.S. Treasury bond yields hitting session highs and higher crude prices boosting oil-linked currencies that cracked the resistance level in the euro, said Thierry Albert Wizman, global interest rates and currencies strategist at Macquarie Limited, citing information from his trading desk.

The euro had already been trading lower thanks to data released earlier in the day that showed German and Spanish consumer inflation slowed more sharply than expected in March, prompting worries that sluggish growth in the euro zone could persist.

Markets more neutral on USD: Strategist

In the United States, gross domestic product grew faster than previously reported in the fourth quarter of last year thanks to robust consumer spending, the Commerce Department said.

Those bits of fundamental data had investors ready to buy the dollar and sell the euro, and the break in the euro's price gave them a reason to do so, analysts said.

"Most of the market thought that the dollar had gotten too undervalued after last week and were just waiting for it to bounce," said Greg Anderson, global head of foreign exchange strategy at BMO Capital Markets. "Once it was clear that it bounced they were going to jump in and buy it or (sell the euro)."