FOREX-Dollar stronger as Draghi warning on risks hurts euro

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* Draghi says growth risks shift to downside

* Sterling steady after push to avert no-deal Brexit

* Pound slips after reaching 11-week highs (Updates rates, comments to U.S. market open; changes dateline,previous LONDON)

By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed

NEW YORK, Jan 24 (Reuters) - The dollar rose to a more thanfive-week high against the euro on Thursday after EuropeanCentral Bank President Mario Draghi said economic risks havemoved to the downside and near-term data is likely to be weakerthan previously anticipated.

On Thursday, the ECB left its policy stance unchanged asexpected, keeping a rate hike later this year on the table evenas the euro zone economy suffers its biggest slowdown in half adecade. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N1ZO1J3

"The risks surrounding the euro area growth outlook havemoved to the downside on account of the persistence ofuncertainties," Draghi told a news conference, citing trade andgeopolitical threats and emerging market volatility.

The euro EUR= was 0.18 percent lower against the dollar at$1.136, after falling as low as $1.1308, its weakest since Dec.17.

"Draghi's tone definitely shifted to a much more dovishfashion," said Charles Tomes, associate portfolio manager atManulife Asset Management.

"We definitely feel this opens the door for a little bitmore downside risk in the euro with economic data continuing tobe more on the weak side," Tomes said.

The euro rose off session lows after Draghi downplayeddeploying long-term refinancing operation funding (LTRO). urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N1ZO4ZC

The dollar index .DXY , which tracks the greenback versusthe euro, yen, British pound and three other currencies, was up0.15 percent at 96.265.

"With the U.S. shutdown dragging on, trade negotiations withChina at an impasse, and evidence of a deeper global economicmalaise accumulating, currency markets are trading on a morecautious footing," Karl Schamotta, chief market strategist atCambridge Global Payments in Toronto, said in a note.

The United States and China are "miles and miles" fromresolving trade issues but there is a fair chance the twocountries will get a deal, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Rosssaid on Thursday. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N1ZO34H

The Republican-led U.S. Senate planned votes for Thursday oncompeting proposals, one broadly backed by Democrats and theother by Republicans, to end the partial government shutdown,both of which seemed unlikely to resolve the month-long impasse. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N1ZO0CQ

The dollar was helped by data that showed the number ofAmericans filing applications for unemployment benefits fell tomore than a 49-year low last week. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N1ZN1OF

Britain's pound GBP=D3 was 0.2 percent lower against thegreenback, after surging to a 11-week high overnight asinvestors consolidated positions before a key UK parliamentdebate next week. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N1ZO5WX

Graphic: World FX rates in 2019   http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
(Reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed; editing by Jonathan Oatis) ((saqib.ahmed@thomsonreuters.com; @SaqibReports; +1 646 2236054; Reuters Messaging:saqib.ahmed.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

This article appears in: Politics , Stocks , World Markets , Economy
Referenced Symbols: EFX ,

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