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Euro dips on data; Aussie and Kiwi jump

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Optimism over China's economic prospects drove the Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars higher on Monday, while the euro struggled to make headway after some softer business- sentiment surveys.

HSBC's monthly survey of purchasing managers pointed to the first expansion in six months by China's manufacturing sector, which is crucial to the world's growth prospects and demand for a wide range of commodities.

That offered relief to investors fretting about the health of Australia's biggest export market. The Aussie rose above $0.94, near its April 10 peak.

The Canadian dollar also reached a five-month high, building on gains from Friday, after surprisingly high inflation and robust retail sales made it look less likely the central bank would maintain its accommodative policy stance.

The Canadian dollar was last around C$1.0724 per U.S. dollar, after touching a high above C$1.07.

PMI dips

Purchasing manager surveys for Germany, France and the euro zone as a whole were all below forecast and the euro inched down about 0.1 percent near $1.35 in response.

The trend, however, remained the same: robust growth in Europe's biggest economy and a continuing struggle for some of its neighbors.

The data followed a weekend interview in which European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi laid out the case for sticking with the bank's current program of stimulus. He also said outright quantitative easing could be used if inflation expectations deteriorated in the medium term.

That left markets about where they have been all year: waiting for a stronger signal of a move away from the era of ultra-low interest rates. Those low rates have left currency-market volatility at record lows and volumes with it.

Against the yen, the dollar was 0.2 percent weaker at 101.84 yen.

The British pound was almost unchanged, trading at $1.7024 after hitting a 5 1/2-year high of $1.7064 last Thursday on speculation the Bank of England would raise interest rates before the end of this year.

—Reuters

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