FOREX-Dollar little changed in thin trading; Aussie dollar rallies

    * Euro on the defensive after weak sentiment data
    * Dollar near-term pressures rising-analyst
    * Aussie manages to reverse part of previous day's decline
    * Graphic: World FX rates in 2019

 (Recasts, adds new comment, FX table, updates prices, changes
byline, dateline; previous LONDON)
    By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
    NEW YORK, Feb 22 (Reuters) - The dollar was little changed
to slightly lower against most other currencies on Friday, with
investors mostly inclined to take on riskier assets on a day
devoid of major U.S. economic data. 
    The greenback so far this week has fallen 0.3 percent, after
gaining more than 1 percent the previous week, in an uneven
performance amid mixed U.S. economic data.
    "We continue to believe that longer run headwinds for the
U.S. dollar are rising – in the form of structural (deficits)
and secular (trend) pressures," said Shaun Osborne, chief FX
strategist at Scotiabank in Toronto.
    "We also believe that the U.S. dollar is increasingly
vulnerable in the shorter run to negative seasonal pressures –
which typically see the dollar peak in March and generally trade
lower through until Q3," he added.
    Investors continue to watch high-level talks between U.S.
and Chinese trade negotiators in Washington. Just over a week is
left before higher tariffs would be triggered by the expiration
of a U.S.-imposed deadline for an agreement.
    With the economic outlook foggy and major central banks much
more accommodative than a few months ago, U.S.-China trade talks
and Brexit are the primary concerns for traders.  
    In mid-morning trading, the dollar index was flat at 96.618
    The euro dipped on Friday. Weak data since January has
undermined support for the single currency, which edged lower
against the dollar to $1.1331 It hit a two-week high on
Wednesday, helped by hopes for an easing of the U.S.-China trade
    Analysts assessing the euro's prospects are focused on
whether a slowdown in European growth is likely to be
protracted. A survey on Friday showed business morale fell in
February for a sixth straight month in Germany, the mainspring
of the European economy.
    Traders will scrutinize comments by European Central Bank
President Mario Draghi later on Friday, especially if he
elaborates on plans for further monetary policy easing. 
    The Australian dollar, on the other hand, rebounded after
China denied that it had banned imports of the country's coal.
Reuters reported on Thursday that the Chinese port of Dalian had
barred imports of Australian coal indefinitely, pushing the
Aussie dollar down 1 percent
    China said on Friday, however, that imports would continue,
but customs has stepped up checks on foreign cargoes.

    The Aussie dollar was last up 0.6 percent at
    Currency bid prices at 10:00 AM (1500 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
 Euro/Dollar      EUR=        $1.1332        $1.1334     -0.02%         -1.18%      +1.1352     +1.1317
 Dollar/Yen       JPY=        110.6600       110.6900    -0.03%         +0.36%      +110.9000   +110.6400
 Euro/Yen         EURJPY=     125.43         125.47      -0.03%         -0.63%      +125.7700   +125.4000
 Dollar/Swiss     CHF=        1.0004         1.0008      -0.04%         +1.94%      +1.0024     +0.9997
 Sterling/Dollar  GBP=        1.3018         1.3049      -0.24%         +2.05%      +1.3054     +1.2969
 Dollar/Canadian  CAD=        1.3192         1.3230      -0.29%         -3.26%      +1.3243     +1.3186
 Australian/Doll  AUD=        0.7128         0.7092      +0.51%         +1.12%      +0.7131     +0.7084
 Euro/Swiss       EURCHF=     1.1338         1.1346      -0.07%         +0.75%      +1.1354     +1.1335
 Euro/Sterling    EURGBP=     0.8704         0.8686      +0.21%         -3.12%      +0.8729     +0.8684
 NZ               NZD=        0.6824         0.6799      +0.37%         +1.59%      +0.6827     +0.6759
 Dollar/Norway    NOK=        8.6135         8.6231      -0.11%         -0.29%      +8.6313     +8.6053
 Euro/Norway      EURNOK=     9.7645         9.7815      -0.17%         -1.43%      +9.7850     +9.7563
 Dollar/Sweden    SEK=        9.3626         9.3722      -0.08%         +4.45%      +9.3704     +9.3274
 Euro/Sweden      EURSEK=     10.6120        10.6205     -0.08%         +3.39%      +10.6255    +10.5850
 (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Additional reporting by
Tom Finn and Saikat Chatterjee in London)