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FOREX-Euro falls below $1.12 as U.S. data outperforms

Buy or sell dice

* Euro slides as dollar gets data boost

* Aussie sheds half a pct after central bank meeting

* Sterling under pressure again on Brexit vote woes

* Graphic: World FX rates in 2019 http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh (Recasts, adds details)

By Tommy Wilkes

LONDON, April 2 (Reuters) - The euro fell to athree-and-a-half week low and stood precariously near itsweakest since June 2017 on Tuesday, as investors seized onrelatively strong data out of the United States to buy thedollar.

Survey data on Monday showed factories in the euro zone hadtheir worst month for almost six years in March, while economicdata in the United States offered more hope. That reinforcedconcerns that while both economies face a slowdown, the euroregion looks set to come out worse.

Kit Juckes, a strategist at Societe Generale, said thatwhile there was little correlation between the gap in thePurchasing Managers Index surveys in the euro zone and theUnited States, signs of weakness would test the single currencyas it fell towards the bottom of its recent trading range.

"The market is bearish and short, the poor data are notunexpected, but even so, a break through $1.1150 would surelytrigger short-term stops," he said.

The euro weakened 0.2 percent to $1.1190, slightly above the$1.1176 EUR=EBS level reached last month - the weakest sinceJune 2017.

The dollar index, which measures the U.S. currency against abasket of rival currencies, rose 0.3 percent to 97.430 .DXY , athree-week high, helped by a rally in U.S. stocks on Monday andthe more positive U.S. data.

Australia's dollar shed 0.6 percent to $0.7072AUD=D3 asinvestors focused on the central bank's caution about the healthof the global economy.

The Reserve Bank of Australia's stress on the "downsiderisks for the global growth environment" probably caused thecurrency to weaken, said Commerzbank analyst Esther Reichelt.

She said the government's budget due on Tuesday shouldprovide some supportive measures. Combined with optimism overChina, she said, that should help the Aussie to rebound.

Sterling dropped half a percent after lawmakers rejectedfour Brexit proposals, heightening Britain's uncertainty just 10days before it is due to leave the European Union. The pound wasdown at $1.3040GBP=D3 at 0900 GMT and at 85.88 pence againstthe euro EURGBP=D3 .

The safe-haven Swiss franc held below 1.12 per euro and near2019 highs. It traded 0.1 percent higher at 1.1194 EURCHF=EBS , below 2019 highs of 1.117.

RBC Capital Markets strategist Adam Cole said he did notexpect the franc to hold its gains because the Swiss NationalBank remained "sensitive" to a stronger currency, particularlywhen it traded beyond 1.12 francs per euro.

The SNB will be "the last central bank in the developedworld to tighten rates," he said.

Cryptocurrencies surged. Bitcoin jumped 20 percent to touch$5,000, its highest since November BTC=BTSP .

thomas.wilkes@thomsonreuters.com


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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