Euro off as ECB seen easing further; Wall Street ends flat

Wed Nov 25, 2015 5:09pm EST
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By Rodrigo Campos and Dion Rabouin

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar gained and the euro briefly hit a seven-month low on Wednesday in a volatile session on views the European Central Bank will ease monetary policy further, including buying more debt and charging banks for hoarding cash.

The greenback touched an eight-month high against a basket of currencies as the latest batch of U.S. economic data continued to support a Federal Reserve interest rate increase in December.

Manufacturing output rose well above estimates in October and a gauge of U.S. business investment plans surged. A survey of factories also showed a rise in new orders last month.

U.S. consumer spending barely rose in October as households took advantage of rising incomes to boost savings to the highest level in nearly three years.

The major U.S. indexes were near unchanged at the close of a quiet trading day, with gains in healthcare and consumer stocks keeping the indexes flat.

"A lot of people are taking the day off and this is just programs trading … There's nothing happening today,” said Peter Costa, president at Empire Executions from the floor of the NYSE.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 1.2 points, or 0.01 percent, to 17,813.39, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 0.27 points, or 0.01 percent, to 2,088.87 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 13.34 points, or 0.26 percent, to 5,116.14.

Trading volume was low as many market participants were away in the last session before the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. Markets will be closed Thursday and most of Friday afternoon.   Continued...

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange November 24, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid