The downward trend in the financial crisis is easing and national economic stimulus packages are starting to work, billionaire investor George Soros was quoted as saying by a German newspaper on Monday.

Soros also told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung daily that Asia would be the first region to pull out of the crisis and China was set to overtake the United States as the engine of world growth.

I expect the recovery to make up for around half of the downturn we have had and then to move into stagnation, Soros was quoted as saying by the paper.

Soros said the U.S. dollar was already weak, adding: I don't expect the dollar to lose much value against the euro, on the contrary.

(Reporting by Kerstin Gehmlich and Madeline Chambers)