Investing.com - The euro was trading close to three-week lows against the dollar on Thursday, after official data showed that the recession in the euro zone deepened in the fourth quarter, with gross domestic product contracting more-than-forecast.
hit 1.3316 during European afternoon trade, the pair’s lowest since January 24; the pair subsequently consolidated at 1.3341, shedding 0.83%.
The pair was likely to find support at 1.3247, the low of January 11 and resistance at 1.3454, the session high.
Eurostat said euro zone GDP contracted by 0.6% in the three months to December, compared to expectations for a 0.4% decline, after a 0.1% contraction in the third quarter.
It was the fastest rate of decline since 2009 and marked a third consecutive quarter of contraction.
Euro zone GDP fell 0.9% compared to a year earlier, worse than expectations for a 0.7% contraction, after shrinking at an annualized rate of 0.6% in the previous quarter.
Earlier in the session, official data showed larger-than-forecast contractions in German, French and Italian fourth quarter economic growth.
Germany’s economy, the euro zone’s largest, contracted by 0.6% in the in the fourth quarter, more than expectations for a 0.5% drop on declining exports and investment.
France’s economy also contracted more than forecast, with GDP falling by 0.3%, while Italy’s economy contracted by 0.9%. The worst performing economy in the region was Portugal, which posted a contraction of 1.8% quarter-on-quarter.
Elsewhere, the euro was sharply lower against the pound and the yen, with down 0.65% to 0.8598 and dropping 0.75% to 124.70.
The euro had been little changed against the yen earlier Thursday after the Bank of Japan kept monetary policy unchanged, in a widely expected decision.
The BoJ refrained from expanding its stimulus program following its policy setting meeting, as investors looked ahead to a meeting of finance ministers from the G20 later in the week, amid concerns that Japan could come under pressure following the recent steep decline in the yen.
Meanwhile, official data showed that Japan’s economy contracted by 0.1% in the fourth quarter, compared to expectations for an uptick of 0.1%.
The U.S. was to release official data on initial jobless claims later in the day.