* Euro/dollar hits 3-month high, last up 0.1%
* Australian dollar falls a tad after reaching 3-month high
* Sterling down, but close to 3-month high
* Norwegian crown falls 0.4% after reaching 3-month high
* Graphic: World FX rates in 2020 https://tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E
LONDON, Nov 26 (Reuters) - The euro rose to a nearly
three-month high on Thursday as the dollar went on the defensive
on downbeat U.S. economic data and optimism about coronavirus
Investors sought riskier assets tied to global commodities
and emerging markets, with the British pound close to a
three-month high against the dollar as traders also awaited
details on trade talks between Britain and the European Union
The Swedish crown fell on Thursday, both against the euro
and the dollar, after Riksbank expanded its quantitative easing
Pressure mounted on the U.S. currency also after Federal
Reserve minutes on Wednesday signalled the central bank is
likely to strengthen their quantitative easing program at the
next meeting in December.
Although a few Fed policymakers were hesitant to make
near-term changes to the guidance because of the uncertain
outlook, "many participants judged that the Committee might want
to enhance its guidance for asset purchases fairly soon,"
according to the minutes released Wednesday from the Fed's Nov.
Lee Hardman, currency analyst at MUFG, estimated that the
new guidance could see the Fed commit to continue purchasing at
least $120 billion per month of securities until it judges that
it has made substantial progress towards its goals.
However, the size of the QE programme might not necessarily
be increased, Hardman said.
Still, "the developments support our view that loose Fed
policy will remain a weight on the U.S. dollar next year."
"We are wary in the near-term though that the market is
already very short U.S. dollars which slows downward momentum
and poses the risk of short squeezes," he said.
Trading was was subdued on Thursday because U.S. financial
markets are closed later on Thursday for the Thanksgiving
Euro/dollar was last trading up 0.1% at $1.1924
after rising to $1.1941, its highest since Sept. 1. An index
which tracks the U.S. dollar against a basket of currencies was
flat at 91.99, though earlier it had achieved a near three-month
low of 91.84
Restrictive measures designed to slow the spread of the
coronavirus in Germany will be in place until at least the end
of December and possibly longer, Chancellor Angela Merkel told
parliament on Thursday.
Scandinavian currencies were falling, with the Swedish crown
down 0.4% against the dollar at 8.52 and by the same
extent against the euro at 10.1585.
Sweden's central bank said on Thursday it would expand and
extend its asset purchase programme to support the economy
through a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic as it kept its
benchmark rate on hold at 0% as expected.
The Norwegian crown was also down 0.4% at 8.8515 against the
U.S. dollar, after rising earlier to a three-month high
of 8.8160, also falling by 0.4% at 10.5545 versus the euro
The Australian dollar was down 0.1% at 0.7358,
though earlier it rose to a near three-month high of 0.7374, and
the Canadian dollar was neutral at 1.3007 against the
"A China-led recovery in the global economy and commodities
should benefit commodity currencies," said Masafumi Yamamoto,
chief currency strategist at Mizuho Securities in Tokyo.
"The outlook is good, but we are reaching levels where
authorities might feel some concern. Other emerging market
currencies with good fundamentals should benefit."
Sterling fell 0.2% at $1.3355 after rising to a
three-month high of $1.3399, and was also down by 0.3% against
the euro at 89.22 pence.
(Reporting by Olga Cotaga; Additional reporting by Stanley
White in Tokyo; Editing by Angus MacSwan)