During European early afternoon trade, the euro was lower against the U.S. dollar, with EUR/USD dropping 0.61% to 1.2969.
The euro remained under pressure after preliminary data showed that the euro zone’s manufacturing purchasing manufacturers' index rose more-than-expected in September to 46.0, from 45.1 the previous month, while the service sector PMI fell unexpectedly to 46.0, from 47.2.
A separate report showed that manufacturing activity in Germany contracted at the slowest rate in six months in September, while service sector activity grew modestly.
In France, manufacturing activity tumbled unexpectedly in September, dropping to a three-and-a-half year low led by a marked reduction in incoming new business.
Also Thursday, Spain’s Treasury sold EUR859 billion worth of 10-year government bonds at an average yield of 5.66%, down from 6.64% at a similar auction last month.
The single currency was also lower gainst the pound, with EUR/GBP declining 0.40% to 0.8012.
The pound found some support after official data showed that U.K. retail sales fell by a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in August, compared to expectations for a 0.4% decline. Retail sales rose by 0.3% in July.
The euro was lower against the yen and the Swiss franc, with EUR/JPY tumbling 0.80% to 101.45, EUR/CHF slipping 0.13% to 1.2087.
In Japan, official data showed that the trade deficit widened unexpectedly to JPY0.47 trillion in August, from a deficit of JPY0.37 trillion the previous month. Analysts had expected the trade balance to remain unchanged in August.
A separate report showed that Switzerland's trade surplus narrowed less-than-expected in August, falling to CHF1.733 billion from a surplus of CHF2.875 billion.
The shared currency was mixed against the Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars, with EUR/AUD adding 0.19% to 1.2475, EUR/NZD falling 0.24% to 1.5747 and EUR/CAD edging down 0.19% to trade at 1.2692.
The commodity-linked currencies were weighed by data earlier showing that China’s HSBC Flash Purchasing Managers Index rose slightly to 47.8 in September from a final reading of 47.6 in August, remaining in contraction territory for the 11th consecutive month.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to release its weekly government report on initial jobless claims, as well as an index of manufacturing activity in Philadelphia.