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FOREX-Dollar steadies ahead of ECB decision
April 27, 2017 / 11:28 AM / in 8 months

FOREX-Dollar steadies ahead of ECB decision

* Eyes on ECB interest rate decision at 1145 GMT

* U.S. tax plan offers no surprises, dollar/yen slips off 4-wk high

* Swedish crown falls vs euro after Riksbank extends bond-buying

* Loonie, Mexican peso bounce as Trump says won’t scrap NAFTA

* Graphic: World FX rates in 2017

By Ritvik Carvalho

LONDON, April 27 (Reuters) - The dollar steadied against the euro on Thursday, recovering from investors’ disappointment at U.S. President Donald Trump’s tax plans, while Sweden’s crown fell sharply after the country’s central bank fed yet more money into its economy.

Eyes were also on a euro trading tightly within ranges ahead of the European Central Bank’s interest rate decision and news conference, with traders searching for any drift at the bank towards reining in its stimulus programme later this year.

The dollar had surged to a four-week high of 111.780 yen on Wednesday before Trump’s tax reform plans were unveiled, but lost traction soon after as the proposals failed to excite investors. After a steady recovery in Europe, it was less than 0.1 percent lower on the day at 98.987 by 1112 GMT.

“The focus (for the dollar) should be increasingly back to the Federal Reserve (policy), but at the same time when it comes to Trump and his announcements we believe that expectations have been falling to some extent when it comes to his potential to surprise,” said Manuel Oliveri, currency strategist with Credit Agricole in London.

“From that point of view, we don’t expect any dollar downside risks on the back of any disappointments with respect to Trump.”

Trump’s plan would cut the income tax rate paid by public corporations to 15 percent from 35 percent and reduce the top tax rate assessed on pass-through businesses, including small partnerships and sole proprietorships, to 15 percent from 39.6 percent.

The Swedish crown lost ground to the dollar and the euro following the Riksbank decision to keep interest rates on hold and extend its bond-buying programme by 15 billion crowns. It was 1 percent lower to both, at 9.6530 crowns per euro and 8.8526 per dollar.

“Today’s (Riksbank) announcement...should only soften the pace of crown appreciation against euro, but it will not prevent it,” ING currency strategist Petr Krpata wrote in a research note.

“We still look for lower EUR/SEK over coming months/quarters and expect the cross to be gradually converging towards the 9.00 crowns per euro.”

The euro was last lower by less than 0.1 percent at $1.0898 . It has had a buoyant week, climbing to a 5-1/2 month high of $1.0951 on Wednesday, as the first round of the French presidential elections held over the weekend reduced perceived risk towards the common currency.

The European Central Bank is due to announce its policy decision at 1145 GMT. It is not expected to move, waiting until its June meeting to signal any plans to pull back from its ultra-loose monetary policy.

The Canadian dollar and Mexico’s peso bounced after Trump said he would not scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), easing concerns towards U.S. trade protectionism for now. The loonie was up 0.3 percent to C$1.3542 per dollar, while the peso strengthened 1.2 percent to 18.95 pesos per dollar.

For Reuters Live Markets blog on European and UK stock markets see reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url= (Reporting by Ritvik Carvalho; additional reporting by Tokyo Markets Team; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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