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Euro rises from three-week lows as risk sentiment improves

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04/03/2019 | 06:57pm EDT
U.S. dollars and other world currencies lie in a charity receptacle at Pearson international airport in Toronto

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The euro gained against the greenback on Wednesday as hopes of a trade deal between the U.S. and China bolstered risk appetite globally, while the Australian dollar outperformed on strong local and Chinese economic data.

The Financial Times reported that the U.S. and China are closer to reaching a final trade agreement.

"Reports late yesterday that the U.S. and China are close to finalizing their trade deal buoyed sentiment across the board and the euro got a bit of a lift from that as well,” said Richard Franulovich, head of FX strategy at Westpac Banking Corp in New York.

Better than expected service sector data in Europe further helped the single currency as German 10-year Bund yields also headed back above zero. The services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 53.3 from 52.8, ahead of the flash estimate of 52.7.

“The PMIs today were not robust but certainly better than expected,” Franulovich said.

The euro was last up 0.35% against the U.S. dollar at $1.1241. The single currency on Tuesday fell to its lowest levels in more than three weeks and neared $1.1174, which if broken would send the currency to its weakest levels since June 2017.

The dollar also weakened after data showed that U.S. services sector activity slowed to a more than 1-1/2-year low in March amid a sharp drop in new orders, underscoring slowing economic growth that supports the Federal Reserve's decision to halt further interest rates increases this year.

The Australian dollar jumped 0.64% against the greenback after Chinese and local data gave the currency a boost.

Activity in China's services sector picked up to a 14-month high in March as demand improved at home and abroad, adding to signs that government stimulus policies are gradually kicking in.

Australian retailers enjoyed their best sales in February since late-2017 in a boon to economic growth in the first quarter, signaling surprising resilience in household consumption.

Sterling gained 0.15% against the U.S. dollar after Prime Minister Theresa May announced talks with the opposition Labour party in a bid to break the Brexit deadlock that may lead to a softer departure deal with the EU.

British lawmakers voted on Wednesday to approve the first stage of legislation which would force May to seek a delay to Brexit in order to prevent the risk of leaving without a deal on April 12.

The greenback was little changed by data on Wednesday that showed that U.S. private employers added 129,000 jobs in March, below economists' expectations and the lowest since September 2017.

Investors are next focused on Friday’s government employment report for March for further indications on the strength of the U.S. labor market and wage inflation.

========================================================

Currency bid prices at 1419 EDT (1819 GMT):

Description RIC Last U.S. Pct YTD Pct High Bid Low Bid

Close Change Change

Previous

Session

Euro/Dollar EUR= $1.1241 $1.1202 +0.35 -1.99 +1.1255 +1.1201

Dollar/Yen JPY= 111.4600 111.3100 +0.13 +1.09 +111.5700 +111.2100

Euro/Yen EURJPY= 125.29 124.71 +0.47 -0.74 +125.4500 +124.6100

Dollar/Swiss CHF= 0.9974 0.9979 -0.05 +1.63 +0.9987 +0.9954

Sterling/Dollar GBP= 1.3147 1.3127 +0.15 +3.07 +1.3196 +1.3123

Dollar/Canadian CAD= 1.3332 1.3337 -0.04 -2.24 +1.3353 +1.3296

Australian/Doll AUD= 0.7115 0.7070 +0.64 +0.94 +0.7129 +0.7055

ar

Euro/Swiss EURCHF= 1.1212 1.1181 +0.28 -0.37 +1.1216 +1.1177

Euro/Sterling EURGBP= 0.8549 0.8531 +0.21 -4.84 +0.8557 +0.8503

NZ NZD= 0.6783 0.6755 +0.41 +0.98 +0.6799 +0.6745

Dollar/Dollar

Dollar/Norway NOK= 8.5687 8.5986 -0.35 -0.81 +8.6036 +8.5424

Euro/Norway EURNOK= 9.6333 9.6372 -0.04 -2.75 +9.6432 +9.6045

Dollar/Sweden SEK= 9.2685 9.3269 -0.30 +3.40 +9.3300 +9.2555

Euro/Sweden EURSEK= 10.4199 10.4517 -0.30 +1.52 +10.4560 +10.4092

All spots FX=

Tokyo spots AFX=

Europe spots EFX=

Volatilities FXVOL=

Tokyo Forex market info from BOJ TKYFX World central bank news CEN

Economic Forecasts... ECON Official rates...INT/RATE

Forex Diary.......MI/DIARY Top events........M/DIARY

Diaries...........DIARY Diaries Index........IND/DIARY

Press Digests.....PRESS Polls on G7 economies..SURVEY/

European markets......MARKETS/))

(Editing by Susan Thomas and Chizu Nomiyama)

By Karen Brettell

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
EURO / BRITISH POUND (EUR/GBP) -0.02% 0.9028 Delayed Quote.0.04%
EURO / JAPANESE YEN (EUR/JPY) 0.04% 121.333 Delayed Quote.-3.41%
EURO / NORWEGIAN KRONER (EUR/NOK) 0.19% 9.62685 Delayed Quote.-2.94%
EURO / SWEDISH KRONA (EUR/SEK) -0.16% 10.51112 Delayed Quote.3.67%
EURO / SWISS FRANC (EUR/CHF) 0.12% 1.10876 Delayed Quote.-1.48%
EURO / US DOLLAR (EUR/USD) 0.15% 1.1224 Delayed Quote.-1.80%
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