The eurozone's flash PMI and business confidence data for August was an important focus on Thursday.
The French PMI manufacturing index strengthened to 51.0 from 49.7 previously, beating the consensus of 49.5. There was also a stronger reading for the services sector.
The German manufacturing data remained the key market focus with the PMI index climbing to 43.6 from 43.0 previously. The services index was little changed at 54.4 from 54.5 in July.
The eurozone manufacturing PMI rose to 47.0 from 46.5 with the services index at 53.4 from 53.2.
The data still indicated contraction in manufacturing and there was important evidence of further weakness with a further decline in orders and business confidence to the lowest level for over five years.
According to Markit, there is still the threat that the German economy will contract again in the third quarter. Besides, the overall eurozone's growth will remain subdued.
Nevertheless, there was relief over the data with reduced fears over a further slide and hopes of at least a tentative recovery.
The euro responded to the data with significant gains. EUR/USD pushed to 1.1110 from 1.1075 and the euro made notable gains on the crosses with EUR/CHF moving above 1.0900.
According to the minutes of July's Federal Reserve meeting, two members would have preferred a 0.50% rate cut in interest rates instead of 0.25% to tackle low inflation. In contrast, several members wanted to maintain rates unchanged, illustrating underlying divisions within the committee.
Those members who advocate for a rate cut cited the move as a recalibration of policy stance or a mid-cycle adjustment in response to recent outlook changes rather than the start of an easing cycle. The minutes also reiterated that there was no pre-set course for policy.
Markets were slightly more cautious over the possibility of aggressive rate cuts and the shift in expectations will protect the dollar.
*The market analysis posted here is meant to increase your awareness, but not to give instructions to make a trade.
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