Emerging equities hovered near 17-month highs while the bloc's private sector expanded at its fastest rate in three months in July due to China's strong IPM, leading the euro to pull off eight-month lows on Thursday. After China's Markit's Composite Purchasing Managers' Index released encouraging data of companies across the euro zone, European stocks rose as well, reports Reuters.
The overall index increased to 54.0 in July from 52.8, which is its highest since April. Any number above 50 indicates expansion. Bloomberg reports that the Stoxx Europe 600 Index also rose 0.3 percent.
According to Reuters, the euro reached the day's highs at $1.3471, while the dollar index fell from its recent six-week peak.
Geoff Yu, a currency strategist at UBS said, "The activity data offsets some of the weakness we saw last month and that has helped the euro. But there are concerns about domestic growth in the euro zone and possible sanctions on Russia are likely to have an impact," as quoted by Reuters.
EU states will convene later on Thursday to discuss harsher sanctions against Russia for its continued involvement in the Ukraine and support for pro-Moscow rebels, who were accused of shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
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