* Euro zone GDP data better than expected, lifts euro
* Dollar weak after Fed cuts rate by 25 bps, as expected
* Chile’s backs out as APEC host, hindering U.S.-China deal
* Chinese remnibi rallies nonetheless, tracking risk appetite
* Graphic: World FX rates in 2019 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh (Updates prices, adds fresh comment and latest news)
By Olga Cotaga
LONDON, Oct 31 (Reuters) - The euro rose against the dollar on Thursday after better than expected euro zone GDP data, while the U.S. currency fell after Federal Reserve appeared to leave open the question of whether it would cut interest rates further.
The Fed lowered its benchmark rate by 25 basis points to a target range of 1.50% to 1.75%.
It dropped a reference in its policy statement that it would “act as appropriate” to sustain economic expansion - language considered a sign of future cuts.
However, the lack of an explicit signal the Fed was done with easing for now was taken as less hawkish than expected, helping to drive the dollar down against most currencies, particularly the Chinese offshore yuan, which rose to an 11-week high.
The euro was last up 0.1% at $1.1161, after earlier reaching a 10-day high of $1.11755.
Euro zone economic growth in the third quarter defied market expectations of a slowdown and was steady quarter-on-quarter, preliminary data showed on Thursday, while headline inflation slowed because of a sharp fall in energy prices.
“A brighter outlook globally relative to the U.S. is not a backdrop we have had for some time and that is limiting the appetite for dollar buying,” said MUFG analysts in a note to clients. They were also referring to investors holding on to hopes that a U.S.-China trade deal was still possible and that Britain will exit the European Union with a divorce deal in place.
“We see solid support in EUR/USD being maintained as long as this relative change in global growth expectations can be maintained,” they said.
European Central Bank member Ignazio Visco said the ECB’s monetary policy will remain expansionary to sustain demand. His comments helped limit the euro’s rise.
The dollar index rose on Wednesday to its highest since Oct. 17 after the Fed removed its reference to “act as appropriate”. But it slipped 0.4% on Thursday to 97.29, its lowest in a week as investors became less convinced that more rate cuts were off the table.
The index was on course for its biggest monthly fall since January 2018.
The dollar also fell against the safe-haven Japanese yen , by 0.6% to 108.16 yen, a more than two-week low.
The yen rose after Chile withdrew as host of an APEC summit in November, where the United States and China had been expected to take major steps toward ending a 15-month-old trade war.
The yen rose further after China raised doubts about the possibility of a long-term trade deal agreement with the United States.
But analysts and traders still think the world’s two biggest economies will arrive at a trade truce. China’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday Chinese and U.S. heads of state have been maintaining contact.
The Chinese yuan rallied to its highest in 11 weeks against the dollar. The offshore yuan last traded hands flat at 7.0477 per dollar.
“Because of this sort of lull in the U.S.-China trade war, you’re starting to see investors getting their toes wet in EM assets,” said Stephen Gallo, European head of FX strategy at BMO Capital Markets. “People are hopeful of a year-end Santa Claus rally ... they’re hopeful we can get a trade deal.”
The Chinese currency was tracking resurgent risk appetite in emerging markets, instead of leading it, Gallo said.
“I really can’t think of a bullish China story for now.” (Reporting by Olga Cotaga; editing by Larry King and Susan Fenton)