FOREX-Euro slides after weak French data

Thu Feb 20, 2014 4:41am EST
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* French PMI data well below forecasts

* China February HSBC flash PMI hits seven-month low

* Soft China survey deals blow to Australian dollar

* Dollar slips versus yen

LONDON, Feb 20 (Reuters) - The euro fell back against the dollar on Thursday after a French purchasing managers' index came in well below forecast, underlining a still fragile outlook for the European economy.

The dollar had been broadly weaker overnight, reflecting doubts that have grown in the past month over the pace of U.S. growth and troubles in some developing economies which have boosted traditional safe havens like the yen.

But the French figures overturned any hope of an immediate push higher for the euro, already trading within striking distance of 2-1/2 year highs against the dollar.

German figures released after those for France did little to counter worries that the euro zone economy will need more aid from the European Central Bank at a time when its counterparts in Britain and the United States are headed in the other direction.

"At the moment there is still a lot of uncertainty around what ECB is going to do, but France is a very important part of the picture," said Kathleen Brooks, director of research at   Continued...