October 25, 2019 / 7:45 AM / 23 days ago

FOREX-Euro steadies vs dollar near 1-week low, focus shifts to Fed next week

* Dollar, Japanese yen trading flat

* Sterling falls on expectations of general election in UK

* Graphic: World FX rates in 2019 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

By Olga Cotaga

LONDON, Oct 25 (Reuters) - The euro steadied on Friday after falling to a one-week low against the U.S. dollar in the previous session on the European Central Bank leaving the door open for more monetary policy easing, but keeping interest rates unchanged.

The focus will shift next week to a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting ending Oct. 30 and a Bank of Japan meeting ending Oct. 31. The Fed is expected to cut interest rates for a third time this year, but money markets have largely priced in a 25 basis points cut already, according to Refinitiv data.

“It should be a done deal,” said Richard Falkenhall, senior currency strategist at SEB.

Therefore, the central bank meetings next week are “not going to move markets very much,” Falkenhall said. “I don’t think it will have a major impact on euro/dollar,” he added.

The BOJ is leaning towards keeping policy on hold next week, but the decision is a close call as policymakers struggle with the fallout from the U.S.-China trade war.

The euro, together with other major currencies, looks destined to remain in a narrow trading range in the near future, keeping volatility down, the only trend in the otherwise trendless forex market, analysts said.

The euro was last flat at $1.1109, though close to the one-week low of $1.1094 it reached on Thursday. The index which tracks the dollar against six major currencies was also flat at 97.66.

The Swedish crown too was in neutral territory, last trading at 10.72 against the euro. On Thursday, however, the Swedish currency jumped to a one-month high after the Riksbank cemented hopes of an interest rate increase to 0% in December.

Still, the Riksbank, which apart from the Norges Bank, is the only central bank in the developed world raising interest rates, did not forecast another rate rise after December.

“It seems like things are getting really really boring in the FX markets,” said Falkenhall. “The FX market will be a zombie market.”

Traders will be watching for the German Ifo business climate survey, due at 0800 GMT, and for the U.S. University of Michigan consumer sentiment index, due at 1400 GMT.

Economists polled by Reuters expect the Ifo survey to have slipped slightly to 94.5 in October from 94.6 in September.

Elsewhere, the pound nursed losses versus the dollar and the euro on Friday after Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s call for an election heightened uncertainty over Britain’s divorce from the European Union.

The British currency is likely to remain fragile ahead of a meeting later on Friday where European Union officials may decide how long they will extend Britain’s deadline to leave the EU beyond the current date of Oct. 31.

At this stage, an election looks unlikely because the main opposition Labour Party has withheld its support and other opposition parties have rejected the offer.

Sterling was last down 0.2% at $1.2835, having slipped below %1.28 to a one-week low of $1.2790 on Thursday. Against the euro, the pound fell 0.2% to 86.55 pence .

Reporting by Olga Cotaga; editing by David Evans

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