EUR/USD edges higher following better-than expected Euro zone PMI data

The euro advanced on Monday after the Euro zone reported better-than expected PMI data, with only France being again the worst performer.

EUR/USD hit a session high at 1.3784 at 10:43 GMT, gaining 0.28% for the day. Support was likely to be received at December 13th low, 1.3710, while resistance was to be met at December 12th high, 1.3803.

The euro was supported by data, which showed the Euro zones composite output rose to a three-month high of 52.1 in December from 51.7 in November, adding to the sentiment that the Euro zone economy is making steps in the right direction in its struggle to recover.

A report by the research group Markit Economics revealed that the euro zone flash manufacturing PMI rose to a 31-month high of 52.7 in December from 51.7 in November. Manufacturing output rose for a sixth straight month and the pace of increase hit the highest since April 2011. New orders at goods producers likewise rose for a sixth month, also marking the fastest expansion since April 2011. Orders growth was fueled by increased exports, which grew at the fastest pace since the beginning of 2011.

A separate report showed that the activity in the Euro zones services sector declined to 51.0 in December from 51.2 in November and short of analysts projections for a reading of 51.5.

Data for the largest Euro zone economy, Germany, showed that the nations manufacturing PMI rose to a 30-month high of 54.2 in December, up from 52.7 in November and above expectations for a reading of 53.0. The countrys services PMI declined to 54.0 this month, a larger than-expected decline to 55.5 from a 55.7 in November.

France was again the worst performer in the euro area, with countrys manufacturing PMI falling to the lowest in seven months to a reading of 47.1 from 48.4 in November, while French services PMI declined to a six-month low of 47.4 this month from 48.0 last month.

Meanwhile, investors weighed the chance of a Fed tapering during this week, after a string of recent upbeat US data added to expectations that the central bank may consider a small reduction of scale of its monthly asset purchases at the upcoming policy meeting on December 17th-18th, which tends to devalue the US dollar.

On Thursday the US Department of Commerce reported that retail sales in the country rose considerably in November, as US consumers purchased automobiles and a range of other goods. Retail sales rose 0.7% last month, outstripping analysts’ projections of a 0.6% gain, while October’s sales result has been revised up to a 0.6% increase from a 0.4% increase previously. The overall indicator was mainly influenced by a 1.8% climb in sales at automobile and parts dealers, which offset a 1.1% decline in fuel prices.

Retail sales, which exclude volatile components such as automobile sales, rose 0.4% in November from an upwardly revised 0.5% a month ago, exceeding expectations of a 0.2% advance.

Core retail sales, which exclude automobiles, food services, gasoline and building materials and correspond more closely to the consumer spending component of nation’s GDP increased 0.5% in November, after advancing 0.7% in October.

According to 34% of economists, participated in a Bloomberg survey on December 6th, the FOMC may begin to scale back its 85-billion-USD monthly asset purchases at the committee’s policy meeting this week rather than wait until January or March.

Investors also awaited the release of US report on industrial production for November, accompanied by the results of a survey encompassing manufacturers in the region of New York for December, while Markit Economics was to publish the preliminary value of its manufacturing PMI for December. All the reports are due later on trading Monday.

Elsewhere, USD/JPY traded at 103.05 at 09:15 GMT, down 0.16% for the day. Support was likely to be received at December 12th low, 102.47, while resistance was to be encountered at December 13th high, 103.92, also the pair’s highest level since October 6th 2008.

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