(Corrects time of UK GDP release to 0830 GMT)
* Weak U.S. durable goods orders pressure dollar
* British GDP expected to confirm global economic weakness
* Euro gets support from falls in Italian, Spanish yields
* Gold, oil recover on hopes of more central bank support
By Richard Hubbard
LONDON, April 25 The euro and commodities gained
ground on Thursday as evidence of a weakening U.S. economy put
the dollar under pressure, while investors waited to find out
whether Britain's stagnant economy had fallen back into
Markets are looking to the British first-quarter gross
domestic product number (GDP), due at 0830 GMT, to see whether
it reinforces the gloomy global economic picture painted by
recent releases from Germany, China and the United States.
"We had a run of weak data across the global board, I
wouldn't be surprised to see a softer number coming out of the
UK," said Rainer Guntermann, a strategist at Commerzbank.
Britain's $2.4-trillion economy is expected by analysts to
have eked out growth of 0.1 percent in the first three months of
2013 to March, according to a Reuters poll.
That would avoid a second quarter of contraction - the
definition of a recession - after GDP shrank by 0.3 percent in
the final three months of last year.
The recent run of weak economic data, culminating news of
the biggest drop for seven months in orders for long-lasting
U.S. manufactured products, saw the dollar fall 0.3 percent
against a basket of major currencies to 82.7.
This helped the euro add about 0.2 percent to $1.3042
and move further away from a two-and-a-half-week low of $1.2954
recorded on Wednesday.
The single European currency was also being supported by
falling government bond yields in heavily indebted Italy and
Spain and by hopes that Italy is about to have a new coalition
government after two months of post-election political deadlock.
Most of Europe's stock markets opened on a subdued note
following two days of strong gains as the signs of a growing
economic slowdown across the region increased talk that the
European Central Bank will cut rates next week. Senior sources
have told Reuters that momentum is building for monetary action
to help revive growth.
The broad FTSE Eurofirst 300 index of top European
shares gained about 0.2 percent in early trade, with the Paris
CAC-40 and Frankfurt's DAX flat to 0.2 percent
Britain's top share index, the FTSE 100 was up 0.5
percent, setting a fresh three-week high, ahead of the national
GDP data. U.S. stock futures were up 0.1 percent,
indicating a calm Wall Street open.
Earlier MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside
Japan gained 0.7 percent, with Hong Kong shares
rising 1.1 percent and hitting a three-week high, spurred
by recovering commodity prices.
Gold and copper prices were close to one-week highs, while
Brent crude oil held firm at $101.75 a barrel.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose
to $7,098 a tonne, its highest since April 18, before paring
gains to be around $7,043.
Gold stood at $1,443 an ounce by having hit a high of
$1,447.66 an ounce earlier in the session, its loftiest level
since April 15, the day it posted its biggest ever daily drop in
(Additional reporting Ana Nicolaci da Costa; Editing by