* Euro drops on fresh Italian economy fears

* Dollar higher after midterms, before Fed policy meeting

* Most major currencies trade in tight ranges

* Graphic: World FX rates in 2018 (Recasts with euro, adds new quotes, updates prices)

By Tommy Wilkes

LONDON, Nov 8 (Reuters) – The euro fell on Thursday after
the European Commission cut its forecasts for Italian growth,
adding to investor concerns about the euro-zone’s third-largest
member’s debts and economic outlook.

While the euro dipped, the dollar extended its recovery
following a sigh of relief across markets after the U.S. midterm
election results, and as investors turned their attention
towards the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting later on Thursday.

The European Commission forecast the Italian economy would
grow more slowly in the next two years than Rome thinks, making
government budget deficits much higher than assumed by Italy,
and supporting the Commission’s view that Italy’s 2019 draft
budget breaks European Union fiscal rules. The announcement sent the euro, which was up marginally on
the day, into negative territory. It traded 0.2 percent lower at
$1.1404 by 1135 GMT, at the day’s lows.

"The Italian situation continues to pressure the euro," said
Alvin Tan, an FX Strategist at Societe Generale.

Tan said that adding to euro weakness was the dollar’s
rebound thanks to U.S. midterm election results that "were in
line with expectations and mean the Fed can go on its way" in
raising interest rates.

Democrats won control of the House of Representatives in the
vote while the Republicans cemented their majority in the
Senate, resulting in a split U.S. Congress.

The dollar pulled further away from 2-1/2 week lows hit on
Wednesday.

The Fed is expected to keep interest rates on hold but
signal further tightening in December and 2019.

The dollar index nudged up 0.3 percent to 96.251. It
had hit as low as 95.678 on Wednesday.

"Over the coming weeks and months the market will have to
draw its own conclusion about how far the hiking cycle in the
U.S. will go, based on the continuation of the U.S. fiscal and
trade policy under the new conditions in Congress and the
economic data," Commerzbank analysts said in a note.

"That means that in particular positive wage, price and
labour market data might provide support for the dollar."

More broadly, analysts said foreign exchange traders were
treading cautiously and looking for their next cue on the
strength of the global economy, despite world stocks racking up
their longest winning streak of 2018 on Thursday. The dollar gained 0.2 versus the Japanese yen to 113.72 . The dollar has gained over the past week versus the yen
due to the diverging monetary policies of the U.S. Fed and the
Bank of Japan.

The New Zealand dollar slipped slightly, by 0.1
percent to $0.6774, but was little moved by its central bank
keeping rates on hold at 1.75 percent on Thursday. The Australian dollar built on recent gains to trade
at $0.7284, up 0.2 percent and within touching distance of a
six-week high.

The Aussie was cheered by stronger than expected trade data
out of China, Australia’s largest trading partner. (Editing by Keith Weir and Marie-Louise Gumuchian)

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