* Graphic: World FX rates in 2019 http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
By Saikat Chatterjee
LONDON, April 18 (Reuters) - The euro edged higher for asecond straight day on Thursday, but gains were tiny beforemanufacturing survey data that should shed some light on theoutlook for the European economy.
But the PMI data might provide some relief to investors.Data this week from China, a big source of demand for Europeanfactories, has indicated growing signs of strength in theworld's second-biggest economy.
"The China data has been quite decent and that should helpmanufacturing PMI data in Europe and a decent reading will pushthe euro higher," said Manuel Oliveri, a currency strategist atCredit Agricole in London.
China's economy grew 6.4 percent in the first quarter,defying expectations for a further slowdown. Industrialproduction and consumer demand showed signs of improving. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N21Z0OK
The single currency EUR=EBS edged up 0.1 percent to$1.1304, rising for a second day. French PMI data was belowforecasts. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nS8N1XB052
But the euro was still more than 2 percent below a 2019 highof $1.157. Investors have cut their holdings of the currency,with net short bets at their highest in more than two years, according to latest positioning data.
The euro's small rise comes amid a general drop in currencymarket volatility. A JP Morgan volatility index .JPMVXYG7 wasnear 2008 lows.
The dollar index .DXY against a basket of six majorcurrencies was nearly flat at 97.051 after dipping 0.05 percentthe previous day.
Commodity-linked currencies sagged after a surge in crudeoil prices ran out of steam.
The Australian dollar was flat at $0.7179AUD=D4 afterbriefly popping above $0.72 on strong jobs data for March. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N2200K4 (Reporting by Saikat Chatterjee; editing by Larry King) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; +44-20-7542-1713;Reuters Messaging: email@example.com))