Euro, shares steady as ECB decision nears

Thu Nov 7, 2013 6:52am EST
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By Richard Hubbard

LONDON (Reuters) - The euro held firm as investors questioned how far the ECB would go on Thursday in hinting at policy easing, though world shares weakened before U.S. data which could set the course for the Federal Reserve's policy.

A sharp fall in euro zone inflation last week had increased uncertainty over the ECB's policy decision today but a run of robust data in the last few days, pointing to a gradual if still weak recovery, has cut the likelihood of a move. <ID:L5N0IS1I2>

"The general view is there a very small chance of a rate cut at today's meeting although our own view is a move in December is likely," said Nick Kounis, head of macro research at ABN


Before the ECB decision, due at 1245 GMT, the euro was holding steady at around $1.3510 having pulled away from a near two-month low of $1.3442 set on Monday. <FRX/>

The dollar was little changed against a basket of six major currencies .DXY after falling 0.2 percent on Wednesday.

European share markets were slightly softer but the approaching the ECB decision, a heavy slew of corporate earnings and the all-important U.S. jobs data due on Friday was keeping the market in a cautious mood.

The Bank of England also holds a policy meeting on Thursday at which it is expected to leave rates unchanged.   Continued...

A visitor walks past logos at the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo June 13, 2013. REUTERS/Toru Hanai