Euro firms ahead of ECB meeting, dollar falls

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The euro rose on Wednesday in advance of the European Central Bank meeting, putting pressure on the dollar as traders remained worried about the trade friction between the United States and China.

Traders sought to exit some bearish bets on the single currency, which fell earlier on Wednesday on reports that ECB policymakers will trim their growth forecasts at their meeting on Thursday, analysts said.

Also, European Union chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker called for the euro to challenge the dollar as the world’s leading currency.

“That shows some confidence in the euro zone and the euro. That may be good for euro bulls in the long run,” said Juan Perez, senior currency trader with Tempus Inc in Washington.

The dollar’s weakness helped emerging markets recover from their earlier losses with the Indian rupee hitting an all-time low.

At 10:56 a.m. (1456 GMT), the euro was up 0.16 percent at $1.16230 and was 0.270.24 percent at 0.89290 pound.

The index that tracks the greenback against the euro, yen, sterling and three other currencies was down-0.37 percent at 94.898.

Earlier Wednesday, the U.S. Labor Department said the producer price index unexpectedly fell 0.1 percent in August, marking its first decline in 1-1/2 years.

At 2 p.m. (1800 GMT), the Federal Reserve will release its latest Beige Book, a snapshot of regional economic conditions.

Fed policymakers are widely to raise short-term borrowing costs at their upcoming meeting on Sept. 25-26.

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