October 26, 2017 / 12:31 PM / a year ago

FOREX-Euro falls as ECB curbs bond-buying

* Decision largely along expected lines

* Graphic: World FX rates in 2017 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

By Saikat Chatterjee

LONDON, Oct 26 (Reuters) - The euro fell half a percent on Thursday as investors took profits after the European Central Bank said it would extend its bond purchases at a reduced rate on Thursday, as widely expected.

The ECB said it would cut asset purchases to 30 billion euro from 60 billion euros starting January while also extending the scheme by 9 months to September.

“The pace of QE tapering is in line with market expectations and euro/dollar is modestly lower but we still have to wait for comments from Draghi,” said Piotr Matys, a currency strategist at Rabobank in London.

The single currency fell 0.6 percent to $1.1740 but was still holding within broad ranges traded in recent weeks.

The dollar rose to the day’s highs against a basket of currencies on a media report that current Fed chair Janet Yellen had pulled out of the race for the next U.S. Federal Reserve chair.

The greenback was trading up 0.4 percent at 94.088 against a basket of currencies.

Simon Derrick, an analyst at BNY Mellon said the ECB decision was in line with what markets were expecting.

Long euro/dollar has been among the best performing currency trades with the pair up nearly 13 percent so far this year though the single currency has come under some pressure in recent weeks on concerns interest rates in the ECB will remain at record lows far longer than in the U.S.

Latest CFTC positioning data shows that net euro longs have retreated from their record highs though still remain near multi-year highs at above $13 billion.

U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to announce his Fed chair candidate before his Asian trip in early November.

For Reuters Live Markets blog on European and UK stock markets see reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=http://emea1.apps.cp.extranet.thomsonreuters.biz/cms/?pageId=livemarkets

Reporting by Saikat Chatterjee, Ritvik Carvalho and Polina Ivanova; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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