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Euro Rises Ahead Of ECB Rate Decision

The euro strengthened against most major currencies in the European session on Thursday, as European stock markets traded higher ahead of the European Central Bank's policy meeting, due later in the day.

While no major policy changes are expected, it remains to be seen whether ECB President Mario Draghi will signal measures towards winding down the bank's quantitative easing program at some point this autumn.

The central bank is expected to keep its refi rate at zero percent and the deposit rate at -0.4 percent. The announcement will be followed by a press conference, at 8.30 am ET.

In economic releases, German industrial output showed nil growth in July following a 1.1 percent decrease in June, data from Destatis showed. Output was forecast to grow 0.5 percent.

Eurostat reported that the euro area economy expanded at a slightly faster pace in the second quarter.

GDP grew 0.6 percent sequentially in the second quarter, faster than the 0.5 percent expansion seen in the first quarter. The rate came in line with the estimate released on August 16.

In the Asian trading today, the euro held steady against its major rivals.

In the European trading, the euro rose to a 6-day high of 1.1976 against the U.S. dollar, from an early low of 1.1914. The euro is likely to find resistance around the 1.21 region.

Against the pound and the yen, the euro advanced to 2-day highs of 0.9169 and 130.42 from early lows of 0.9133 and 129.95, respectively. If the euro extends its uptrend, it is likely to find resistance around 0.93 against the pound and 131.00 against the yen.

Meanwhile, the euro dropped to 1.2429 against the Swiss franc, from an early more than 3-week high of 1.2513. The euro may test support near the 1.22 region.

Looking ahead, at 7.45 am ET, the ECB announces the outcome of its governing council meeting. The bank is expected to keep its refi rate at zero percent and the deposit rate at -0.4 percent.

The announcement will be followed by a press conference at 8.30 am ET. ECB Chief Mario Draghi is expected to design the groundwork for tapering.

In the New York session, U.S. weekly jobless claims for the week ended September 2, Canada building permits for July, Canada Ivey PMI for August, and U.S. crude oil inventory data are slated for release.

by RTT Staff Writer

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