April 4, 2019 / 1:31 PM / 22 days ago

FOREX-Euro dips as weak German data prompts growth concerns

    * German industrial orders dropped sharply in February 
    * Italy likely to cut growth forecast
    * Trade talks between U.S. and China in focus

 (Updates trading and comments to U.S. market open, new byline,
changes dateline, previous LONDON)
    By Karen Brettell
    NEW YORK, April 4 (Reuters) - The euro dipped on Thursday as
weak German economic data and a report that Italy would slash
its growth forecasts prompted fears about weakening growth in
the region.
    German industrial orders fell by the sharpest rate in more
than two years in February as they were hit by a slump in
foreign demand, compounding worries that Europe's largest
economy had a weak start to the year.
    “I’m a little bit surprised we didn’t get more reaction on
the back of the German factory orders data, which really
suggests that we’re not seeing a significant pickup in the
industrial sector after a pretty soft second half to last year,”
said Shaun Osborne, chief FX strategist at Scotiabank in
Toronto.
    Sentiment at major exporting countries including Germany,
South Korea and China has been deteriorating, Osborne said.
    “I have to wonder if there isn’t an underlying concern here
that reflects worries about where global trade is going on the
back of the tariff discussions, or if it’s perhaps more of a
sign that there is a more meaningful slowdown in the global
economy just around the corner,” Osborne said.
    Reuters also reported that Italy this month will probably
cut its 2019 economic growth forecast to 0.3 percent or 0.4
percent and raise the budget deficit target to around 2.3
percent of gross domestic product.
    The single currency fell 0.19% against the greenback
to $1.1213.
    The euro is nearing the $1.1174 level reached on March 7,
which if broken would send the currency to its weakest levels
since June 2017.
    Investors are focused on trade discussions between the
United States and China on the hope that an agreement will
remove headwinds to global growth.
    After making "good headway" last week in Beijing, the two
sides aim to bridge differences during talks that could extend
beyond three days this week, White House economic adviser Larry
Kudlow said.
    The next U.S. economic focus will be Friday’s employment
report for March.
    Sterling fell as concerns grew that Britain may be headed
for a protracted Brexit delay.

    ========================================================
    Currency bid prices at 9:18AM (1318 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
                                              Session                                           
 Euro/Dollar      EUR=        $1.1213        $1.1234     -0.19%         -2.23%      +1.1248     +1.1213
 Dollar/Yen       JPY=        111.5400       111.4700    +0.06%         +1.16%      +111.5500   +111.3400
 Euro/Yen         EURJPY=     125.08         125.21      -0.10%         -0.90%      +125.3900   +124.9800
 Dollar/Swiss     CHF=        0.9997         0.9982      +0.15%         +1.86%      +0.9999     +0.9972
 Sterling/Dollar  GBP=        1.3104         1.3159      -0.42%         +2.72%      +1.3190     +1.3105
 Dollar/Canadian  CAD=        1.3364         1.3343      +0.16%         -2.00%      +1.3372     +1.3337
 Australian/Doll  AUD=        0.7097         0.7112      -0.21%         +0.68%      +0.7127     +0.7099
 ar                                                                                             
 Euro/Swiss       EURCHF=     1.1213         1.1211      +0.02%         -0.38%      +1.1224     +1.1205
 Euro/Sterling    EURGBP=     0.8558         0.8532      +0.30%         -4.74%      +0.8558     +0.8519
 NZ               NZD=        0.6748         0.6776      -0.41%         +0.49%      +0.6799     +0.6749
 Dollar/Dollar                                                                                  
 Dollar/Norway    NOK=        8.5890         8.5698      +0.22%         -0.58%      +8.5976     +8.5615
 Euro/Norway      EURNOK=     9.6321         9.6304      +0.02%         -2.75%      +9.6515     +9.6236
 Dollar/Sweden    SEK=        9.2799         9.2668      -0.05%         +3.52%      +9.2842     +9.2579
 Euro/Sweden      EURSEK=     10.4060        10.4115     -0.05%         +1.39%      +10.4276    +10.4030
 
    
    
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 (Editing by Bernadette Baum)
  
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