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FOREX-Euro rises for third day on growth bets
November 23, 2017 / 1:01 PM / 24 days ago

FOREX-Euro rises for third day on growth bets

* Cautious FOMC minutes sends dollar lower in holiday week

* Chinese stocks slide dampens risk appetite

* Graphic: World FX rates in 2017 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

By Saikat Chatterjee

LONDON, Nov 23 (Reuters) - The euro climbed for a third consecutive day on Thursday as a flurry of European business surveys pointed to a strengthening growth outlook for the region.

Surveys covering both the services and manufacturing industries in Europe outshone even the most optimistic forecasters in Reuters polls -- indicating growth is broad-based - with factories having the second-best month in the index’s history.

“There is a general trend of euro-positive sentiment going through the markets and that is keeping the euro firmly supported and the ECB minutes were along expected lines,” said Commerzbank currency strategist Esther Reichelt in Frankfurt.

The minutes of the European Central Bank for its October meeting didn’t yield anything new, with policymakers broadly agreeing last month on extending its asset purchase scheme.

The single currency was up 0.2 percent on the day at $1.1847 against the dollar and not far from a one-month high of $1.1862 set last week.

It also chalked up steady gains against the Swiss franc and the British pound respectively.

Meanwhile the dollar nursed losses after posting its biggest loss in five months on Wednesday as investors trimmed bets on the outlook for U.S. interest rate hikes next year, based on minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting.

With Chinese stocks down between 2-3 percent in Asian trade, low yielding currencies such as the Japanese yen and the Swiss franc remain firmly supported against the greenback as investors shied away from taking positions in a holiday-shortened week.

The minutes, however, also highlighted concern among some of the members over the inflation outlook, with the emphasis placed on economic data in determining the timing of future rate rises.

The dollar edged 0.1 percent lower against a broad trade-weighted basket of currencies on Thursday to 93.15 after falling 0.8 percent in the previous session, its biggest daily percentage fall since June.

Chinese shares took a sharp hit in the Asian session with mainland indexes down between 2-3 percent, exacerbating investor caution and dampening risk appetite.

Trading conditions were thinner than usual on Thursday, with Japanese financial markets shut for a public holiday. U.S. markets will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Reflecting the growing uncertainty about the future outlook for U.S. interest rates, an overnight rally in June futures contracts meant that markets were pricing in a U.S. Fed funds target rate of 1.58 percent by then, implying only 2 more rate hikes, below market consensus.

For Reuters Live Markets blog on European and UK stock markets see reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=http://emea1.apps.cp.extranet.thomsonreuters.biz/cms/?pageId=livemarkets (Reporting by Saikat Chatterjee; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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