Dollar higher vs euro after dull eurozone PMI numbers

The euro fell against the dollar Thursday, under pressure from a slight downturn in a key eurozone gauge of business activity.

Markit Economics's May composite purchasing managers index (PMI) for the single currency area fell to 53.9 points from 54 in April, a slight pullback in the pace of expansion.

That was not taken as bad news; the Markit PMI remained at the second-highest level of the past three years.

Even so, compared with improving data in the United States, it showed the eurozone continuing to struggle to get its footing after the region's financial crisis.

"The euro slipped back toward yesterday's two and a half-month low against the greenback after mixed eurozone PMI data failed to bolster any confidence in the bloc's recovery or dampen expectations for monetary easing from the ECB (European Central Bank) next month," said Omer Esiner of Commonwealth Foreign Exchange.

Other key currency pairings remained in narrow ranges, while the British pound backed off the $1.69 level after briefly breaching it during the day, to finish at $1.6867.

2100 GMT Thursday Wednesday

EUR/USD 1.3653 1.3686

USD/JPY 101.72 101.38

EUR/JPY 138.90 138.76

GBP/USD 1.6867 1.6898

EUR/GBP 0.8094 0.8097

USD/CHF 0.8942 0.8928

EUR/CHF 1.2209 1.2224