* Euro hit after ECB meeting, weak German, French PMIs
* Dollar headed for best week since August
* Aussie dollar, sterling both back on the ropes
* Graphic: World FX rates in 2018
(Adds details, quotes, updates prices)
By Tommy Wilkes
LONDON, Dec 14 (Reuters) - The euro fell broadly 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 in China.
The single currency was hurt on Thursday when the European Central
Bank cut forecasts for economic growth and inflation. The currency's
drop was modest, but it underscored concerns about an economic
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. French business activity unexpectedly
contracted, further fanning fears about slowing growth in the euro
"The ECB meeting was perceived as rather dovish," said
Thu Lan Nguyen, Frankfurt-based currencies strategist at Commerzbank.
"Now the hard data, or the PMIs, support the view that the risks
are moving to the downside."
The ECB has said it plans to hold rates at rock-bottom levels
through the summer of 2019, but Nguyen said she doesn't expect the
central bank to tighten policy until 2020 as a weaker economy
encourages it to keep the stimulus taps running.
The euro fell half a percent to $1.1285 , its lowest in two weeks.
"The euro simply lacks domestic catalysts for a more
meaningful rally," ING analysts wrote in a note to clients.
The single currency also fell versus the franc, dropping 0.3
percent to 1.1263 francs .
The dollar gained as weak economic data in China encouraged
investors into the perceived safety of the U.S. currency and as the
euro and pound came under pressure, the latter because of renewed
concerns about Britain's withdrawal from the European Union.
The dollar, up 1 percent since Monday, is headed for its best
weekly performance since August.
The Federal Reserve holds its last monetary policy meeting next
week, at which it is widely expected to raise rates for a fourth time
this year. For 2019, traders are split on how far along the central
bank is on its rate-hiking cycle.
Against a basket of its peers, the dollar rose 0.5 percent by 1125
GMT, with its index at 97.511 .
Elsewhere, the Chinese yuan fell after data showed retail sales
grew in November at their slowest pace since 2003 and industrial
output rose the least in nearly three years.
The offshore yuan dropped 0.4 percent to 6.9037.
The Australian dollar , viewed as a gauge of sentiment towards
China, which is Australia's largest trading partner, lost 0.8 percent
The yen was unchanged at 113.59 yen per dollar.
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.
(Editing by Larry King and Hugh Lawson)