Euro stable as business activity in single currency region slows

<p>The euro has held its ground in trading today as business activity in the single currency bloc falls.</p>

The euro is stable versus most of its forex trading partners this morning (October 26th) following news business activity in the 17-nation bloc retreated to fresh lows in October, with output shrinking at its fastest rate in nearly three-and-a-half years.

Markit's Flash Eurozone Purchasing Managers' Composite Output Index shows that productivity contracted to 45.8 from the previous month's of 46.1.

According to the purchasing managers' index system, any figure lower than the benchmark of 50 indicates shrinkage and therefore this month's decline has been considerable.

The data reflects a quarterly rate of economic contraction in the single currency bloc of 0.5 per cent.

Chief economist at Markit Chris Williamson commented: "The underlying business climate has clearly deteriorated markedly in recent months."

He added that a sharper decline may be expected in the fourth quarter.

At 08:15 BST, the euro held its ground in trading with the dollar, with €1 equalling $1.293, while versus the pound it advanced very slightly to €1 buying £0.803.

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