* Euro hobbled by ECB, poor PMI numbers in Germany, France
* Dollar headed for best week since September
* Aussie, sterling back on the ropes
* Graphic: World FX rates in 2018
By Tommy Wilkes
LONDON, Dec 14 (Reuters) - The euro fell on Friday as the euro
zone economy showed more signs it's beginning to sputter, while the
dollar made some headway as investors turned nervous about a slowdown
The euro was hurt on Thursday when the European Central Bank cut
forecasts for economic growth and inflation. The reduction was modest,
but it underscored concerns about a euro zone slowdown and the central
bank's caution as it ends its bond-buying scheme and tries to wean the
region off stimulus.
On Friday, German data showed private-sector expansion slowed to a
four-year low in December, adding to the euro's woes. French business
activity unexpectedly contracted.
The euro fell 0.4 percent to $1.1308 in early European trade.
The dollar rose across the board.
"The euro simply lacks domestic catalysts for a more
meaningful rally," ING analysts said.
The dollar found broad support as the euro and pound came under
pressure, the latter because of renewed concerns about Britain's
withdrawal from the European Union.
Analysts say the next catalyst for larger moves in the dollar will
be the Federal Reserve's Dec. 18-19 meeting. It is expected to raise
interest rates and give guidance on the pace of any tightening next year.
"There is a lot of disagreement in the markets over the Fed's
rate hike course in 2019 with traders expecting anywhere between one
to four rate hikes," said Michael McCarthy, chief markets
strategist at CMC markets.
The dollar, up 1 percent since Monday, is headed for its best
weekly performance since late September.
Against a basket of its peers, the dollar rose 0.4 percent, with
its index at 97.455 .
The yen was unchanged at 113.59 yen per dollar. The dollar has
gained 1.2 percent versus the Japanese currency in the past six
trading sessions as interest rate differentials between U.S. and Japan
support the dollar.
The offshore Chinese yuan fell 0.4 percent to 6.9037 after
worse-than-expected economic data. Retail sales grew in November at
their slowest pace since 2003 and industrial output rose the least in
nearly three years.
Most analysts expect help from the Chinese authorities, including
interest rate cuts, to support the economy, which would keep the yuan
The Australian dollar lost 0.8 percent to $0.7169. China is
Australia's largest trade partner.
Sterling fell 0.6 percent to $1.2683 as traders worried Prime
Minister Theresa May was struggling to secure assurances from the EU
over her Brexit withdrawal deal.
(Additional reporting by Vatsal Srivastava in Singapore, editing by