Europe's single currency gained versus 11 of its 16 major rivals on Wednesday as economists said the Markit Economics' composite index of both industries may be the highest in a year. The index is based on a survey of purchasing managers and due for release on Aug. 21st. The EUR added to gains against the U.S. Dollar, rising 0.6%, as stocks pared losses and oil prices rose sharply. The EUR also pared losses against the Yen and was last down 0.1% at 133.60 yen, off a one-month low of 132.16.
The European currency rose from near a 1-week low against the GBP on speculation a European report this week will show manufacturing and service industries contracted at a slower pace, adding to signs the recession in the 16-nation region is abating. The British Pound weakened 0.9% to 86.07 pence per EUR and dropped 0.2% vs. the Dollar to $1.6534.
The GBP extended losses after Bank of England (BOE) meeting minutes showed that some policymakers had wanted to extend quantitative easing by more than the amount decided. The central bank is spending 175 billion pounds to buy assets in a move aimed at pushing down borrowing costs to revive the U.K.'s shrinking economy. Asset purchases require the BOE to print money, which some investors fear may lead to an oversupply of the Sterling and eventual inflation.