Euro gains vs dollar on euro zone data, ECB comments
Frankfurt (Oct 20) The euro rose against the dollar on Tuesday after falling for three straight sessions, bolstered by solid regional economic data and comments from European Central Bank officials suggesting further monetary easing may not be imminent.
Quarterly lending data from the ECB showed euro zone banks loosened their lending standards more than expected over the last few months despite recent global market volatility. That lessened the need for the ECB to ramp up its 1 trillion euro asset purchase program, this week at least.
Separately, current account data from the euro zone showed portfolio inflows continued at a brisk pace, a factor that has been supporting the euro in recent months. ECONEZ
"What actually changed the euro was that banks have a lending survey and for October it was very positive - only pointed out positives and so there's no need for the European Central Bank to increase quantitative easing," said Juan Perez, foreign currency trader, at Tempus Consulting in Washington.
In addition, ECB governing council member Christian Noyer said the central bank's quantitative easing program was well calibrated and did not need to be adjusted.
That followed similar remarks from Austrian central bank chief Ewald Nowotny, who had suggested looking at other ways to stimulate a still-struggling euro zone economy.
Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst at Western Union Business Solutions in Washington, said the ECB could use the meeting and the subsequent press briefing to undercut some of the euro's recent strength, which does not help the region's battle against low inflation. Despite massive asset buying by the ECB, the euro has gained nearly 5 percent versus the dollar over the last three months.
Going into Thursday's policy meeting, investors had been factoring in further quantitative easing from the ECB. Major banks, including Barclays and Goldman Sachs, began the week by calling for the euro to weaken into Thursday's meeting.
In late New York trading, the euro was up 0.1 percent at $1.1341, rebounding from a 10-day low hit on Monday. That slightly put pressure on the dollar index, which was down 0.1 percent at 94.880 .DXY.