July 24, 2018 / 2:51 PM / 5 months ago

FOREX-Euro gains after PMI data; bitcoin above $8,000

    * Euro zone business data signal slower regional growth
    * Turkish lira slumps after central bank holds rates
    * Cryptocurrencies gain on hopes of approval on U.S. ETF 

 (Updates market action, changes dateline, previous LONDON)
    By James Thorne
    NEW YORK, July 24 (Reuters) - The euro held on to modest
gains on Tuesday after surveys showed eurozone business growth
remained robust yet below forecasts, and fears of a trade war
with the United States kept the single currency trapped in
narrow ranges.
    IHS Markit's Euro Zone Composite Flash Purchasing Managers'
Index (PMI), seen as an indicator of economic health, showed
slower growth than expected.
    The PMI data was "certainly not strong enough to bring
forward the timeline for an eventual rate hike for the (European
Central Bank), but also probably not weak enough to push that
timeline out any further," said Omer Esiner, chief market
analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington. 
    With the U.S. central bank likely to raise interest rates at
least twice more this year and the European Central Bank
unlikely to raise interest rates until the second half of 2019,
traders remained cautious about the outlook of the euro.
    The euro was trading 0.14 percent higher at $1.1706
after hitting an intraday low of $1.1652 in early London
trading, Reuters data showed.
    The U.S. dollar was 0.23 percent lower against the euro and
five other major currencies as comments last week from
U.S. President Donald Trump that criticized the currency's
strength continued to weigh on sentiment. The greenback fell
0.26 percent against the yen to 111.04 yen.
    In Turkey, a surprise decision from the central bank to
leave interest rates unchanged sent the lira 2.7 percent lower
to 4.866 lira per dollar.
    The Turkish currency has lost 30 percent of its value
against the dollar in the past six months. 
    Risk appetite was mostly firm after Beijing promised to
pursue a more "vigorous" fiscal policy, stepping up efforts to
support growth.
    Both the euro and sterling edged higher against the Swiss
franc as investors bet that further policy
easing from China would send investors into higher-yielding
assets.
    Bitcoin, the world's best-known cryptocurrency, gained 6
percent to surpass $8,000 on Tuesday on the Bitstamp exchange
, its highest since May 22.
    Ethereum, the second-largest digital currency, gained 5.54
percent to $474.22 on Bitstamp.
    Reports about the impending approval in the United States of
a cryptocurrency exchange-traded fund have helped bolster demand
in recent days. 
    Bitcoin has lost more than a third of its value in 2018 as
institutional and retail interest declined. It has gained in
eight of the past 10 sessions.
    
========================================================
    Currency bid prices at 10:17AM (1417 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
                                              Session                                           
 Euro/Dollar      EUR=        $1.1706        $1.1690     +0.14%         -2.42%      +1.1716     +1.1655
 Dollar/Yen       JPY=        111.0400       111.3300    -0.26%         -1.45%      +111.5100   +110.9700
 Euro/Yen         EURJPY=     130.00         130.18      -0.14%         -3.83%      +130.3700   +129.7600
 Dollar/Swiss     CHF=        0.9931         0.9923      +0.08%         +1.93%      +0.9954     +0.9919
 Sterling/Dollar  GBP=        1.3143         1.3101      +0.32%         -2.73%      +1.3159     +1.3073
 Dollar/Canadian  CAD=        1.3142         1.3170      -0.21%         +4.49%      +1.3190     +1.3136
 Australian/Doll  AUD=        0.7427         0.7379      +0.65%         -4.79%      +0.7427     +0.7360
 ar                                                                                             
 Euro/Swiss       EURCHF=     1.1626         1.1603      +0.20%         -0.54%      +1.1631     +1.1596
 Euro/Sterling    EURGBP=     0.8904         0.8922      -0.20%         +0.24%      +0.8926     +0.8900
 NZ Dollar/Dolar  NZD=        0.6810         0.6784      +0.38%         -3.90%      +0.6814     +0.6769
 Dollar/Norway    NOK=        8.1564         8.1946      -0.47%         -0.62%      +8.2213     +8.1565
 Euro/Norway      EURNOK=     9.5481         9.5818      -0.35%         -3.05%      +9.5895     +9.5507
 Dollar/Sweden    SEK=        8.8125         8.8578      -0.41%         +7.45%      +8.8916     +8.8106
 Euro/Sweden      EURSEK=     10.3162        10.3587     -0.41%         +4.85%      +10.3725    +10.3160
 
    
    


    
 (Reporting by James Thorne; additional reporting by Saikat
Chatterjee and Tommy Wilkes in LONDON; editing by Jonathan
Oatis)
  
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