Euro slips, weak EZ data bolsters view for ECB rate cuts

LONDON Thu Jan 8, 2009 5:15am EST

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LONDON Jan 8 (Reuters) - The euro fell against the dollar on Thursday after a series of weak euro zone economic data further fueled the view that the recession is deepening, which may require faster interest rate cuts by the European Central Bank.

Sentiment figures across the euro zone economy fell more than expected in December, while the unemployment rate rose as expected. Year-on-year growth was revised lower to 0.6 percent in the third quarter, in line with forecasts.

The euro EUR= briefly fell as low as $1.3556 shortly after the data, compared with $1.3585 before the announcement. By 1012 GMT, it traded at $1.3570.

"The euro zone indicators continue to come in on the weak side of expectations. The pace of the deterioration in the economy is concerning and cannot be ignorecd," said Audrey Childe-Freeman at Brown Brothers Harriman in London.

"This is yet another economic indicator that will strengthen the case for the ECB not to wait until February before cutting interest rates again."

(Reporting by Veronica Brown and Naomi Tajitsu)

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