July 24, 2019 / 1:58 PM / a month ago

FOREX-Euro falls to 2-month low on bleak euro zone data; dollar index dips

    * Investors expect ECB to signal significant easing
    * Euro heads towards $1.11; Swiss franc stuck near 2-year
high
    * Sterling above two-year lows ahead of Johnson speech
    * Dollar reacts little to Mueller testimony
    * Graphic: World FX rates in 2019 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

 (New throughout, updates prices, market activity, comments; new
byline, changes dateline, previous LONDON)
    By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
    NEW YORK, July 24 (Reuters) - The euro fell to a two-month
low against the dollar on Wednesday, hit by weak economic data
that bolstered speculation the European Central Bank could
undertake aggressive monetary policy easing as soon as this
week.
    The dollar was modestly lower against a basket of currencies
after three straight days of gains, generally trading in narrow
ranges  ahead of monetary policy meetings at the ECB on Thursday
and the Federal Reserve next week.
    The greenback showed little reaction to the testimony of
former U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who said he had not
cleared President Donald Trump of obstruction of justice.

    Financial markets are focused on the ECB and Fed policy
meetings. Money markets are pricing in a 54% chance of a
10-basis-point cut at Thursday's ECB meeting. 
    The probability rose after the eurozone purchasing managers'
index unexpectedly fell to a three-month low of 51.5 in July
from 52.2 in June. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a
slight decline to 52.1.
    The 50 mark separates economic growth from contraction. 
    The ECB could also signal further reductions down the road
or a fresh round of quantitative easing (QE), investors said.
    "We think the ECB will keep rates on hold tomorrow, but will
adjust its forward guidance, paving the way for a 10 basis-point
cut in September," said Ned Rumpeltin, European head of FX
strategy, at TD Securities in London.
    "Our base case looks for a dovish message overall but
nothing further to be delivered at this stage. A significant
dovish shift tomorrow could still push (the euro) lower into a
new trading range below $1.11," he added.
    In mid-morning trading, the euro was down slightly at 
$1.1146 <EUR= after earlier hitting $1.1128, its lowest since
May 30. The euro hit a two-year low of $1.1106 in May.  
    
    
    Markets betting on ECB easing have lifted the Swiss franc
, with the euro slipping 0.1% to 1.0974 francs, not far
from the two-year high of 1.0972 reached on Tuesday. 
    The euro has shed 2% of its value this month as investors
priced in the probability of euro zone borrowing costs falling
deeper into negative territory. 
    The dollar was 0.2% lower against the yen at 108.05 yen
. Against a basket of currencies, the greenback was down
0.1%. 
    The dollar gained the previous day after Washington reached
a deal to lift government borrowing limits, which analysts said
could limit the Fed's appetite for rate cuts.    
    The pound rose slightly from recent lows after Boris Johnson
on Tuesday won the contest to be Britain's next prime minister,
focusing investor attention on the prospect of a no-deal Brexit.
    Sterling was last up 0.3% at $1.2490, not far from
the 27-month low of $1.2382 it hit last week. It rallied 0.5%
versus the euro, which dropped to 89.23 pence.
    
    ========================================================
    Currency bid prices at 9:39 AM (1339 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
                                              Session                                           
 Euro/Dollar      EUR=        $1.1147        $1.1151     -0.04%         -2.81%      +1.1158     +1.1128
 Dollar/Yen       JPY=        108.0400       108.2100    -0.16%         -2.01%      +108.2700   +108.0000
 Euro/Yen         EURJPY=     120.45         120.67      -0.18%         -4.57%      +120.7100   +120.2200
 Dollar/Swiss     CHF=        0.9847         0.9851      -0.04%         +0.34%      +0.9874     +0.9843
 Sterling/Dollar  GBP=        1.2481         1.2436      +0.36%         -2.16%      +1.2522     +1.2428
 Dollar/Canadian  CAD=        1.3130         1.3132      -0.02%         -3.72%      +1.3147     +1.3124
 Australian/Doll  AUD=        0.6984         0.7004      -0.29%         -0.92%      +0.7008     +0.6973
 ar                                                                                             
 Euro/Swiss       EURCHF=     1.0978         1.0985      -0.06%         -2.45%      +1.1005     +1.0974
 Euro/Sterling    EURGBP=     0.8929         0.8962      -0.37%         -0.61%      +0.8968     +0.8907
 NZ               NZD=        0.6709         0.6702      +0.10%         -0.12%      +0.6714     +0.6692
 Dollar/Dollar                                                                                  
 Dollar/Norway    NOK=        8.6330         8.6757      -0.49%         -0.07%      +8.6929     +8.6342
 Euro/Norway      EURNOK=     9.6248         9.6780      -0.55%         -2.84%      +9.6874     +9.6260
 Dollar/Sweden    SEK=        9.4372         9.4679      -0.35%         +5.28%      +9.4870     +9.4330
 Euro/Sweden      EURSEK=     10.5206        10.5573     -0.35%         +2.50%      +10.5743    +10.5220
 
    
 (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Additional repporting
by Olga Kotaga in London; Editing by David Gregorio)
  
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