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FOREX-Dollar weakens as Chinese data boosts risk appetite
Published at 17/04/2019 at 14:45

* Greenback weakens after strong Chinese data

* Aussie dollar outperforms

* Kiwi drops after inflation slows

(New throughout, updates trading and comments to U.S. market open, new byline, changes dateline, previous LONDON)

By Karen Brettell

NEW YORK, April 17 (Reuters) - The greenback weakened on Wednesday as better-than-expected economic data in China bolstered risk appetite and boosted the Australian dollar.

China's economy grew at a steady 6.4 percent pace in the first quarter, defying expectations for a further slowdown, as industrial production surged and consumer demand showed signs of improvement.

“Risk sentiment seems to have improved overnight on the back of the strong Chinese data,” said Shaun Osborne, chief FX strategist at Scotiabank in Toronto.

Investors are closely watching Chinese and European economic data for signals that global growth is recovering.

The release of Purchasing Managers Indexes (PMIs) for the manufacturing and service sectors in Europe on Thursday will provide the next indication of the strength of the European economy.

Investment inflows into Europe have been improving, which may give the euro a boost against the greenback. The U.S. dollar is also heading into a period of the year when it has traditionally weakened.

“We’re at the upper end of the range for the dollar and we think seasonal pressures should start to weigh a little bit more on the dollar going forward, generally this is about the time of year when the dollar starts to soften up from a seasonal point of view,” said Osborne.

The Australian dollar outperformed on the Chinese data. The currency is sensitive to the economic fortunes of China, Australia’s biggest trading partner.

"It is becoming very clear again this morning what really matters for the Australian dollar is China. The currency is up despite the fact that the RBA rate meeting caused negative sentiment yesterday," said Esther Maria Reichelt, an FX strategist at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.

The New Zealand dollar, meanwhile, fell after data showed that annual inflation slowed in the first quarter, which raised the odds of an interest rate cut in the coming months.

Data on Wednesday also showed that the U.S. trade deficit fell to an eight-month low in February as exports to China surged, helping to eclipse a rebound in overall imports, which could boost economic growth estimates for the first quarter.

========================================================

Currency bid prices at 9:30AM (1330 GMT)

Description RIC Last U.S. Close Pct Change YTD Pct High Bid Low Bid

Previous Change

Session

Euro/Dollar EUR= $1.1299 $1.1280 +0.17% -1.48% +1.1324 +1.1280

Dollar/Yen JPY= 111.9800 111.9900 -0.01% +1.56% +112.1600 +111.9300

Euro/Yen EURJPY= 126.50 126.34 +0.13% +0.22% +126.8100 +126.2900

Dollar/Swiss CHF= 1.0089 1.0078 +0.11% +2.80% +1.0092 +1.0068

Sterling/Dollar GBP= 1.3046 1.3048 -0.02% +2.27% +1.3068 +1.3030

Dollar/Canadian CAD= 1.3292 1.3349 -0.43% -2.53% +1.3371 +1.3274

Australian/Doll AUD= 0.7198 0.7175 +0.32% +2.11% +0.7205 +0.7154

ar

Euro/Swiss EURCHF= 1.1401 1.1368 +0.29% +1.31% +1.1412 +1.1366

Euro/Sterling EURGBP= 0.8661 0.8643 +0.21% -3.60% +0.8680 +0.8642

NZ NZD= 0.6735 0.6761 -0.38% +0.27% +0.6775 +0.6672

Dollar/Dollar

Dollar/Norway NOK= 8.4686 8.4911 -0.26% -1.97% +8.4993 +8.4600

Euro/Norway EURNOK= 9.5712 9.5847 -0.14% -3.38% +9.5963 +9.5711

Dollar/Sweden SEK= 9.2324 9.2571 -0.11% +3.00% +9.2660 +9.2167

Euro/Sweden EURSEK= 10.4330 10.4445 -0.11% +1.65% +10.4603 +10.4320

(Additional reporting by Tom Finn in London; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

((Karen.Brettell@thomsonreuters.com; +1 646 223 6274; Reuters Messaging: karen.brettell.reuters.com@reuters.net))