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The euro was higher against its most major counterparts in the early European session on Thursday, as the euro area private sector expanded more than forecast in August, reducing fears over recession.

Flash survey data from IHS Markit showed that the composite output index rose unexpectedly to 51.8 in August from a 3-month low of 51.5 in July. Economists had forecast a score of 51.2.

The services Purchasing Managers' Index improved to 53.4 from 53.2 a month ago.

German private sector expanded in August, with the flash composite output index rising to 51.4 from July's 50.9.

Economists had forecast to index to drop to 50.6.

Investors await the European Central Bank's minutes of the July policy meeting due shortly. The minutes could provide more insights about the possible stimulus measures that had been suggested in its last meeting at Frankfurt.

The currency has been trading lower against its major counterparts in the Asian session, excepting the pound.

The euro strengthened to a 9-day high of 1.0920 versus the franc, from a low of 1.0875 seen at 2:30 am ET. The next possible resistance for the euro is seen around the 1.12 level.

Having dropped to 1.1076 against the greenback at 2:15 am ET, the euro reversed direction and advanced to a 3-day high of 1.1113. The euro is poised to find resistance around the 1.14 level.

The European currency bounced off to 118.30 against the yen, from a 2-day low of 117.74 hit at 2:15 am ET. On the upside, 121.00 is likely seen as the next resistance level for the euro.

Survey results from IHS Markit showed that Japan's private sector grew at the fastest pace in eight months in August driven by services activity.

The Jibun Bank flash composite output index rose to 51.7 in August from 50.6 in July. A score above 50 indicates expansion.

The single currency appreciated to an 8-day high of 1.7404 against the kiwi and a weekly high of 1.6420 against the aussie from Wednesday's closing values of 1.7311 and 1.6346, respectively. If the euro rises further, 1.78 and 1.66 are seen as its next resistance levels against the kiwi and the aussie, respectively.

The euro that closed Wednesday's trading at 1.4728 against the loonie rose to 1.4766. The euro is likely to face resistance around the 1.50 level.

In contrast, the euro was a tad weaker against the pound, with the pair trading at 0.9132. The euro is seen finding support around the 0.93 level.

Looking ahead, the European Central Bank will release accounts of the monetary policy meeting of the Governing Council held on July 24-25 at 7:30 am ET.

Canada wholesale sales for June, U.S. weekly jobless claims for the week ended August 17 and leading index for July will be featured in the New York session.

Eurozone flash consumer sentiment index for August is set for release at 10:00 am ET.